Tuesday, June 27, 2017

From one pair of kids jeans and some stash fabric ... 1 of 20 :)

A few days ago I hit the thrift store and picked up 20 pairs of kids jeans for a buck a pair.  My intention was to chop and upcycle into zipper bags :D  Chopping and upcycling has now commenced!  I cut up the first pair, saving as much "yardage" as I could.  I don't save seams, I don't save zippers, I don't save snaps - I just save the easy stuff - the fabric sans seams, the pockets (if they're easily removed), the buttons (if they're regular buttons) and the waistband elastic (if it's easily removed).  I know all the parts can be saved and used - I've seen the pins - but I'm not that fond of raw edges and frankly, I think some of the projects made with seams and other bits, are rather ... ummm ... not to my taste *ahem* :D  Here's what I finished up with the denim from one pair of jeans:

Basement photography is awkward!  These are pictures of the same bag, taken within seconds of each other, believe it or not.  On top is the front of the bag, embellished with some of the waistband elastic stitched on :D  In the middle is the back of the bag, with the size tag added :D  The last picture is a close-up of the tag - this zipper bag is now officially a size 16 :)

Here's the next bag - I embellished it with some aliens/spaceship ribbon, and added a zipper pull of the planet Saturn :D

 Here's a bag with one of the jeans pockets attached to the front (it took me quite a while to remove the pockets from the jeans - they're really FIRMLY stitched on!) - the back has another piece of the waistband elastic stitched on :D

 An earbud pouch!  Zipper pull is a scorpion charm from Ebay.  Coincidentally - while I was taking the photo of this bag, I was watching the show Scorpion on TV, haha.  Love that show!

 Here we have a front zip pouch, with the 2nd back pocket stitched on to the front :)
 A two-fer :)  On the left is a Magic Pouch (a tutorial I found recently, and liked so much that this is Magic Pouch #6 to come out of the suddenlysandra Novelty Pouch Factory :D).  On the right - a birdy bag from the book Zakka Handmades by Amy Morinaka :)

Last, but not least, a pirate bag made with a small (about 7" x 7") pirate panel I found in stash - I don't even remember where I got it.  I backed the panel with batting and then quilted it to make the front, then used denim embellished with skull ribbon, for the back.

And there we have it --- 8 little denim bags made from one pair of jeans, some stash supplies and a denim needle :D  I'll be chopping up the next pair of jeans soon, and have picked out a few different projects to work on.   All of these bags, by the way, will be going to Blue Hills - I really wanted to concentrate on bags suitable for boys because I send them a lot of girl stuff - boys definitely need equal representation :D

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Skellies :)

I have a great-nephew that loves skeletons :)  I've been watching for a while, for skeleton fabric that isn't too scary, that's a reasonable price, and for which shipping isn't a bony arm and leg.  I recently found exactly what I was looking for, from a new-to-me Canadian quilt store :)  Their flat rate for Canadian orders under $75, is $5 - that's a BARGAIN, as my fellow Canadians well know :D

Here's what I made with part of my first purchase - the print skeletons go in all directions so no matter how the pillow is placed, there will be right-sides-up skellies :D  Notice the orange clothespins holding the case on the clothesline - I thought they would be the most appropriate colour choice :D

Skeleton pillowcase :)

Close-up of the skeleton fabric :)

While this is planned for a pre-Halloween gift, I'll get it to the recipient the next time I send a package or the next time that a family member visits (anything to avoid paying Canada Post's pirate rates, ARGGGGHHHH [that's a pirate groan, if you couldn't tell :D] :)  I'd like him to be able to use it whenever he wants, without waiting until Halloween!  :)  I have enough scraps left over of each print, to make a couple of zipper bags - maybe he'll even get a zippy with his pillowcase, lol :)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

A tactical error was made :D

Yesterday I posted some pictures of the project I had just started working on.  I did get it finished, and it looked quite lovely, IIDSSM :)

The front
The back

The lining - the funny looking wet spot (no comment :D) on the left is Fray Check I added to make sure the zigzagging didn't come free - it's still wet in the photo, LOL)

Zipper pull #1

Zipper pull #2

Looks great, right?  YES IT DOES!  However, I forgot to account for directional fabric in a project that would get turned upside-down half the time - every time someone wanted to access the 2nd zippered side, which is on the bottom >:(  So - when someone turns the bag over to get into the bottom zipper, they will see ...

Yep - upside down flamingos!  *sigh*
This certainly isn't the end of the world, but I can't give that bag to my friend to use as a prize in a wedding shower - it's making me crazy just looking at the picture, lol.  So ... I did a new bag that I'm much happier with, and my friend will get this 2nd bag instead :)  Same Magic Pouch design, same linings, but a different print on the outside, and with directionality accounted for :)  This time around I did different zipper colours - blue, and pink :D

Blue zippered side

Pink zippered side

Lining, with label stitched on :)

And now I'll be able to sleep at night :D  I'll donate the first pouch with the other bags I make - it's still a gorgeous pouch, so hopefully the recipient won't be bothered with the upside-down flamingos when she uses it.  Note to self:  account.  for.  directional.  fabrics.  :)

These are Magic Pouch #'s 4 & 5  (yes, I'm keeping track!) and I'm nowhere near finished making them - I have 2 more kitted ready to stitch :)  The recipient of the 2nd pouch - the Mother of the Groom - just called and loves the pouch, so I feel grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreat!  :)

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Here's what I'm working on now ...

One of my friends is going to a wedding shower coming up this weekend (she's Mother of the Groom) - I decided to make a wee gift for her, as a prize for one of the shower games.  Can you guess the theme of the shower?  ;)

Magic Pouch #4 under construction :)

These are the charms I've picked out for the pouch :)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

For Barbara - how I lined my drawstring bag - a tutorial for you ;)

This is a throw-together tutorial to show my lovely friend Barbara, how I lined my fishy drawstring bag :D I posted my first bag here - the pattern is for a drawstring backpack and is unlined, but I turned it into a drawstring bag, fully lined, with no raw edges.  She wondered how I did it, so when I made my latest bag, I took some photos during construction.

This isn't a tutorial on how to make the bag - this is a mini tutorial on how I changed up the pattern to add lining to it.  If you want to make a similar bag, you can buy the pattern (see *note at the end of this post), or draft your own.  The pattern was inexpensive so I was happy to let someone else do the designing - I can barely draw a stick figure :D  And who doesn't love patterns you can download immediately?!  :)

OK - let's get started!

Step 1 - assemble the fish front and back - attach head to body, assemble and baste casings in place, stitch eyes on, and prepare and baste the fins and tail in place.  On my photo, the front is on the left, the back is on the right.

Step 2 - since the original bag is unlined there's no pattern piece for the lining.  I layered the back outside piece onto a double layer of muslin lining, and cut it out with my quilting ruler and a rotary cutter.  Of course I press everything first because I PRESS.  Or ... iPress ... haha.

Step 3 - pin  lining to the top of each of the pieced bag pieces - front and back.

Step 4 - stitch in place.  Press the seam open, but press so that the casing goes UP on one side, and DOWN on the other.  This will help eliminate bulk when the bag is assembled.

Step 5 - here's what you should have now - front and back, with lining attached to each.

Step 6 - layer the front and back pieces, RST.  When you're pinning, try to match intersections so that the finished bag will look nice :D  Use lots of pins - it does help keep things together nicely :)

Step 7 - mark a 3 or 4" area at the bottom of the lining, to leave open so you can turn the bag RSO.  Mine is marked with heat erasable marker, on the right of the photo :)

Step 8 - stitch around the outside, remembering to leave the opening in the bottom of the lining.

Step 9 - turn right sides out, and take the bag to your ironing board.  No, don't argue.  YOU MUST PRESS.  I have said so :)  Poke out all the little angles and corners with something (I use a crochet hook) and then press the bag flat.  Do a nice job, or bad karma will follow you!  :D  Of course, you'll press the raw edges (where you left the turning opening) under so you have a nice straight line.  Mine looks wavy, but it's not.  It's the angle of the camera - honestly!

Here's a close-up of the pressed outside ...

... and here's a close-up of the pressed lining.  Nice, eh?  Why yes - yes it IS nice!  :)  (Again, the wavy looking section at the right is PURELY the camera angle!)

Step 10 - tuck the lining inside the bag, and wiggle it around until it lays flatly.  This may take a bit of wiggling :)  It will actually get nice and flat, but will be bulkier around the outside edges, where the seam allowance is hanging out.  That's the nature of the beast :)

Step 11 - topstitch along the top of the bag, below the casing - this will give a nice finished look to the bag, and will ensure that the drawstring casing gathers nicely.

Here's another picture of the top of the bag so you can see how the casing looks when it's topstitched.

Not pictured - thread your drawstring (I use 2mm rattail - I get mine on Ebay), and tie the ends of the cord in a knot.  I add beads to mine because it looks pretty :D  When I'm cutting the rattail, I cut 2 pieces ... each piece is [2X casing length] + 10" .

And now, what you should be looking at, is ...

Step 12 - FINISHED BAG!  :)  We did it - and look at how nice the bag looks with all the pressing you did!  I know you didn't want to do it, but I'm glad you did ;)

I hope you've enjoyed my little lining tutorial - Barbara, I get naming rights on your first fish, LOL!

*Note - The designer (ThimbleChaser Crafts) has told me she's redoing some of the instructions because there were some things missing, but I haven't heard back from her that she's done so.  It was only a few of the steps that were missing, so I'm sure if you have any sewing experience, you can figure things out just fine - I had no problems :D

A Magic Pouch and a fishy bag :D

  It's a good day for sewing - it was pouring rain this morning so I couldn't go out for a walk - I headed down to the dungeon and got a couple of projects finished :D  I cut them both out yesterday and got them prepped for construction, so all I had to do was sit down and sew :D  That's my idea of a great way to start the day!

Up first is my 2nd fish drawstring bag :)  I posted my first one here .  As with my first one, I changed up the backpack pattern and made it as a drawstring bag, fully lined, with no raw edges.  This time around I took some photos during construction because someone *grins and looks @ Barbara* asked how I did it.  Will post them separately - sometimes housework has to come first, despite my sincere belief that it shouldn't :D

Here's a close-up picture - the fabrics are from the same line (from Fabricland) but in slightly different colourways.  I bought a meter of each, with the intention of making several bags - a miscut ensued and I think I can only get one more bag out of the leftovers, LOL.  Measure twice, cut once - it's not just for construction workers, haha.  At least I have pretty scraps to use up now!  ;)

The other new-to-me project that I completed recently, was a Magic Pouch.  I enjoyed the first one so much that I immediately made a 2nd one - they're posted here.  This morning I whipped up a 3rd one, using some sweet Laurel Burch fabric :)   This time around I used 2 different coloured zippers, and batiks to match (I had everything in stash).  Here are the prints I used ...

... and here's the finished bag.  This time around I accounted for the directional print by turning the back upside down so that when the bag is flipped to access the 2nd zippered section, the print will be right side up for that side.  This is the turquoise blue side ...

... and this is the purple side.

I couldn't figure out what setting to use on the camera to get a close-up of the tiny little zipper pull - this was as good as I could get.  Those are little antique brass charms from Ebay - I got them in several colours.  This one is pink with purple, and the other side (I tried and just couldn't get a proper photo) is blue and green, I think.  This bag is a birthday gift so I got it shipped off this morning :)

Both of these bags will be posted to the Taschen Sew Along for June - the theme is animal bags ... and I think these qualify :D  The fish bag has been uploaded to the June New to Me linky party @ Celtic Thistle Stitches :)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Magic Pouch - a rather awesome design :)

Now that the warm weather has arrived, I'm spending more time in my basement dungeon sewing room - it's nice and cool down here - just right for sewing ;)

Kitchen curtains for DS2's kitchen - requested by him so that the sun wouldn't shine in the window and block his view of his television in the next room, LOL.

A new to me pattern, and one which is highly recommend :)  This is a Magic Pouch - free tutorial available here @ Craftsy :)  Once you learn how the technique of getting a zipper on both ends (and no raw edges - bonus!) you'll be able to make similar bags in any size you want :)  
Pokemon pillowcase for my off-to-Waterloo-for-university-in-the-fall neighbour Daphne :)  Sorry for the bad picture - the ones I took outside were faded because the sun is shining so brightly (YAY!) but the ones in the dark basement are rather dull!  Pokemon fabric (and the cuff fabric as well, actually) are from my trip to Joanns last month :D
Close-up of the Pokemon print :)

The Magic Pouch will get posted to June's New to Me linky party @ Celthic Thistle Stitches  :) 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Here, fishy fishy fishy :D

I bought this pattern from Craftsy a while ago, and finally got around to trying it :)  There was a bit of a problem with the instructions so I let the designer know, and she's working on making some changes to the pattern :)  In the interim, I used her pattern and my own construction techniques, to finish my version of the bag.  She designed it as a backback - I did a drawstring bag.  Her version was unlined - mine is completely lined, with no raw edges.  My fins and tail are quilted (I think hers are as well - I can't recall).  The batiky fabric is from my most recent Stateside run - I posted it here - it's one of the remnants in the top photo :D  She's lined with muslin :)

Fishy drawstring bag - pattern by ThimbleChaser Crafts at Craftsy :)

Another view ...

Here's a close-up of her (somewhat uneven, lol) tail - I quilted it with batting and embroidery thread - it has a little bit of a glimmer to it!  The fins are quilted in a similar manner :)
I have the fabric picked out for 2 more of these bags - hopefully I can get them finished up this week :)  This will get posted to Celtic Thistle Stitches for the June New to Me linky party when it goes live, and I posted it to a new blog/linky combo I recently found - the challenge for June is an animal bag, and I think this qualifies ;) 

Posted to:  Taschen Sew Along 2017 - June linky party is here and here (both links go to the same linky, which is co-hosted by 2 bloggers - 4freizeiten.blogspot.de and greenfietsen.de)

Friday, June 9, 2017

It's strawberry season :)

I'm all in favour of strawberries in any form - even the non-berry type!  One of my sewy friends asked me if I had a spare ankle for a low shank machine - her friend and co-worker has just taken up sewing, and ordered some snap-on feet for her machine, without realizing that she would need an ankle for them. As it happens, I had a spare ;)  I'll give it to my friend tonight when we meet up for ladies night out - dinner @ Swiss Chalet, and a visit to Fabricland for their 50% off sale.  We party hard, you know!  And raucous - oh yes we get raucous!  (No we don't, LOL).  I thought I would make a little bag (an earbud pouch) to hold the ankle, and maybe give the recipient an idea for a future and very simple project?  One must encourage new sewers in their endeavours, you know!  :)

Strawberry pouch completed :)

Close-up of strawberry zipper pull :)

Back of bag - I added the ribbon embellishment for a specific reason ...

Close-up of the ribbon embellishment (sorry it's not very clear)

These are the goodies I tucked inside - the ankle + screw (bottom), and some cotton ribbon embellishments for fun.  I put one on the back of the bag so the recipient would have an idea of what she could do with them :)

Miss N - I hope you like your little surprise - I had a lot of fun making it :)

Edited an hour(ish) later - I packed the gift in this bag for presentation purposes - I had it in stash, and it's exactly the right shape and size - very serendipitous :D

Floral gift bag - after all - a gift MUST be presented properly attired!  ;)


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