Monday, September 18, 2017

Bag It 2017 begins today :)

I thought it would be fun to make Halloween trick or treat bags for a couple of kiddos that I know.  I've already made them Halloween pillowcases but when I spotted this tutorial, I knew I wanted to make bags as well ... as one sometimes does ;)  I pulled out some fabric to trial the tutorial for sizing.  As it turns out, it would be just right for a 2 or 3 year old, but I'm going to do the Halloween version a bit taller.   Almost as soon as it was finished, a friend bought it to use as gift wrap for a gnome themed gift :D  I hope to get the Halloween version cut out soon - I have an idea for a 3D embellishment that I came up with a few nights ago while trying to fall asleep - hopefully it works out!

Today I made a bag for my neighbour - she wanted to buy a bag to use for her markers and school supplies (she's a teacher) - I couldn't let her buy something that I could make for her (happily!  I love my neighbour!) so I pulled out fabric I picked up during a visit to Sew Sisters (NAYY) at the beginning of the summer, and I whipped this up.  It measures 9 1/2" X 4" x 4" :)

It's quilted with light grey embroidery thread, and lined with black/white gingham (I buy it at Joanns in the States when I go down there - it's not polyestery like regular gingham - it's a lovely weight of cotton that works well for the bags I like to make).  I think she'll like it - I'm going to go put it on the fence between our two houses and call her :D   We have a thing, my neighbour and I ;)  She leaves garden goodies from her garden, on top of the fence on occasion, then calls me to tell me that our fence is doing weird things, LOL ... I try to return the favour when I can!

I'm participating in the Bag It 2017 event that Patty @ Elm Street Quilts hosts - it starts today so my Star Trek bag will be my first entry :)  (The gnome bag was made prior to today so it doesn't count).   If you like sewing bags, you should check it out - there will be lots of fun tutorials, and people posting their finishes (great inspiration!) and even some cool prizes :D  It runs from September 18 - December 15, 2017 :)

Edited a bit later (lol) to add this photo ...

Not 5 minutes after this picture was taken, the wind blew the bag into the neighbour's yard, LOL.
Murphy's Law - nobody is home to rescue it, so I texted her and
told her to go on a hunt when she gets home :D

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Working my way through my stash of zippers ...

My zipper stash is rather extensive, and I like adding to it :)  I have a bunch 'o zips coming from Ebay so I thought I should try to make room for the new guys :D

Here's part of another one of my "theme" collections ...
there were a bunch of bits and pieces from a line
of bunny and critter fabrics ... enough for 9 bags :)

It was a nice day to hang them on the clothesline, lol!

These bags will be going to Blue Hills next week :)

TMNT Magic Pouch for a birthday boy :)
TMNT and Wonder Woman Magic Pouches for the
birthday brother and birthday sister of the
birthday boy recipient of the Magic Pouch above :D
Boxy bag for the niece of a dear friend ... niece is leaving in
a few days to go to university in Israel!  Oh my - exciting!
My friend wanted to send her niece some goodies for the plane -
lip balm, candy, pen, notepad - things like that - and asked
if I could make a pretty bag for her.  My friend
likes the result - I hope the recipient does as well!

A bag for yet another young lady headed off to university!
She likes Pokemon, LOL.  I tucked some notecards and stamps
in the bag so that she could send some surprise "miss you"
notes to her family when the mood strikes :)
If the sun keeps shining, I can get more clothesline pictures tomorrow - I have some kiddy wallets and other items ready for the counselling center, but I need to get pictures before I send them off :)

Monday, August 28, 2017

August finishes - aprons and pirates :D

Sewing in August - I did some!  My fabric stash increased this month when I visited my dear friend Mickie and her hubby Brad and her (OMG GORGEOUS) pupper Scout in Pennsylvania :)  I met her awesome friend Carol, and Mickie and Carol presented me with a box of fabrics to use as I saw fit :D  Talk about stash enhancement!  We also did some shopping, went caving (loved it, and will be doing it again in October!), went out to eat, hung out, hugged and stuff - it was great :D  This  needs to be an annual thing - we had so much fun, and hubby was quite happy to hang out with Brad - what do you think, Mickie?  :D

Here are a few of my August finishes - in no particular order, because I'm not organized enough to keep them in order, hehe.

A pirate pillowcase for a soon-to-be 7 year old :)

Aprons on a windy day - some for gifts, some for donation :)

Batman!  The tutorial for this one is here - I made Batman in size 6-8 for a soon-to-be-6 year old :)  The lining (back) fabric is the same Batman print that the pocket is made from :)  The denim is upcyced from a pair of kids jeans ($1 from the thrift store :D) - it's a LEG!  I left the seam  in (off-set) so it would be obvious that this was made from jeans :D 

This Batman apron is for the younger brother of the recipient of the black/yellow Batman apron :D  The tutorial is here ... this one is sized for about a 2-3 year old :)  Same deal as the previous apron - lining is the same as the pocket print, and the apron itself is made from a leg from a pair of kids jeans :) 

This sweet little girl apron is made from a lovely heart print given to me by Mickie & Carol (see first paragraph :D) :)  It's the same size and pattern as the denim apron directly above, from Peekaboo Pages :)

This is a booboo apron :D  I wanted to make an apron featuring an owl.  I didn't have an owl print in stash, but this fall animals fabric does have owls; unfortunately I had a brain fart and fussy cut the FOX instead of the owl, when I was making the pocket!  At that point I decided I would do Batman instead, so this apron will get donated, since it has the wrong animal guide, haha :D  Same size (6-8) and pattern (Sew Liberatedas the first apron in this compilation :D

More fabric from Mickie and Carol - perfect for an apron, I'd say!  Same Sew Liberated apron as above, in size 6-8, and into the donation box she goes :)

Right now I'm working on some superhero pencil cases for birthday gifts - there WILL be Batman.  And Wonder Woman.  And Ninja Turtles (or more Batman - I haven't decided) :D

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Aprons for the grands :D

My sister's grands!  Sadly, I don't have any yet  :D

Here's the apron I just finished - I made it for a great nephew who will be 2 later this year.   The apron is sized 2T-4T, so it should be good for him for a while :)  The pattern is a freebie from Amy @ Peek-a-Boo Pattern Shop - it's a quick and simple sew, so I'll be making more of them for Blue Hills :)  The blue in the fabric isn't quite this turquoise in reality - it's a gentler blue.  The print is from the "a walk in the woods" line by Aneela Hoey for Moda :)

Next up will be another apron, but a bit larger, for that g-nephew's bigger brother :D  I hope to get it finished tomorrow - but for now, I need to go upstairs and get supper started.  It's my husband's 57th birthday today, and the kids are coming over tonight for a bbq :)

Friday, July 28, 2017

More denim - 3 of 20 :D

Okie dokie, artichokie - another pair of kids jeans has been cut to pieces and restitched, this time resulting in 6 finishes :D

Here we have a critter ... from the pattern @ this post :)

Regular zipper bags

Tiny little boxy bag with angled corners :)

If baby aims carefully, they can drop their crumbs into the pockets of these bibs :D

A few years ago, a bloggy friend - Katherine - gave me some scraps (probably from a quilt, judging by the cuts!) - they've been ripening in my stash for an embarrassingly long time, but have now come out to play :)  The first project I made was a QAYG zipper pouch, made with log cabin-ish type blocks.  It's lined with lovely grey polka dot fabric just because :)  See the yellow flower button on the left?  It's from a card of 3 buttons that another bloggy buddy sent me for no reason whatsoever - and doesn't it work perfectly with this project?  Thank you Katherine and Karen :)

Last, but certainly not least - a new-to-me design using more of Katherine's scraps :)  This is a Bella clutch from the Clover and Violet website - the free tutorial is here :)  I really like the shape and gathering - it's very pretty and feminine :)   You could actually make this bag in any size - I like that, because it allows me to use up the last bits and pieces of fabrics by sizing the bag to fit the fabrics, rather than doing it the other way around :D   This project qualifies for Fiona's New to Me linky party for July - I made it in the nick of time, lol!

(A running total of the jeans upcycle finishes = 8 + 5 + 6 = 19 finishes from 3 pairs :D)

Thursday, July 27, 2017

2 of 20 - the upcycle odyssey continues :D

Last month I posted about buying 20 pairs of kids jeans from a thrift store, for a buck a pair.  My intention was to stitch them into zipper bags - I managed to get 8 bags out of the first pair of jeans (after adding more fabrics and notions, etc.).  I went on to pair #2, and ended up with 5 more bags :)

A couple of zipper bags sized to fit the pockets that I salvaged from this pair of jeans :D

3 rocket zipper bags (pattern here) using upcycled denim and stash fabrics :)

In the first picture I threw some sewing clips on the table to bling up the photograph - these are a recent purchase from Amazon (NAYY) - I had them on watch for a while and when they went on sale, I bought - 30% off is 30% off!  The first thing I noticed when I took them out of the bag, was the fact that they're PRETTY.  Not all sewing notions are pretty, but these clips are, lol.  They're a no name version of Wonder Clips, and these are the jumbo sized ones.  My lovely friend Nancy pointed out that the hole in the back of the clip means we can pin these to a design wall (or hang from a pegboard) and use them as clips - brilliant!  I'm happy I bought these - they're cute AND practical :)

I'll try to remember to keep a running total of the finishes from these jeans - #1 was 8 and #2 is 5, for a total of 13 :)  I'm actually on pair #5 now but just now got around to taking pictures, lol.  Some of the finishes involve velcro rather than zippers ;)

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


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