Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Bag To Pop Over!

Last Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to take a class, and make the Poppins Bag by Auntie's Two Patterns. It was a lot of work, but so much fun! 

As with any project, the big question is, what fabric should I use? You may remember the watercolor I did last summer and had made into fabric on the Spoonflower site. 

I had a piece printed in a 2 yard piece of cotton, just to see how I would like it. The quality was fine for basic cotton, and I had thought that I would do a skirt, then I changed my mind and thought of a kimono jacket...and then...I did nothing with it. I am so happy that I didn't as it became the focus fabric for my bag. Below you see the front of the bag once the quilting had been completed. Look closely as there is a pocket in the center panel.  

The bag has made some progress below. Rather than put another pocket on the back of the bag, I elected to do a strap so that I can carry it on the handle of my rolling suitcase. 

My finished bag. There is a frame inside the top of the bag that folds in when the bag is zipped.

 And then pops out when the bag is unzipped.

Here you can see the inside of the bag. There are 2 pockets, and loads of room! I think I could pack my entire wardrobe into this bag. Not really, but it is quite roomy.

I used this super fun rainbow zipper. 

And I love the stars that were provided for the zipper pulls. 

I made the bag at the sweetest store in Granby, Colorado. Tina, the owner is just the best! If you would like to make a bag of your own, you can order the pattern from her. The frame for the top of the bag comes with the pattern. If you do decide to make the bag, I would also order all of the foam pieces that are needed for the structure of the bag. You can find her website HERE. Just tell her that Rhonda sent you :) Don't worry, I get no compensation for this, I just love to pass along great projects, and great people :) Tina also carries the rainbow zipper and the fun star zipper pulls. 

If you do decide to make the bag, just a little word of warning, it is labor intensive. It took 2 full days to complete the bag. But, in the end, it was so worth it!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday Morning Inspiration/Embellish a Simple Neckline

A friend of mine called a few weeks ago. While we were talking, she asked, "Are you sewing?" I replied that yes I was sewing, but I was trying to be quiet by sewing slowly. She laughed and said that she has done the same thing. She then asked what I was making. I told her that it was nothing special, but I had been through my wardrobe and realized that I am in desperate need of new t-shirts. All of my white t-shirts are yellowed, or grayed, and the others, well, ready for the rag box, which means...dust rags.  

Like most of us, I have succumbed to a cheap price tag and purchased a pile of t-shirts. But, I have ended up disappointed each and every time. One washing and the poor quality of the fabric raises its ugly head. Or, the piece has been cut off grain, and never hangs correctly. Again, not noticed until the piece was washed. So, I have decided that it doesn't take a lot of time to put a basic t-shirt together, and I will make my own.

With all of that said, basic is great and very much needed in our wardrobes, but something not so basic is what adds spark. 

I absolutely love this very basic top. It's just a basic v-neck with a strip of fabric that has been attached at the back neckline and then threaded through buttonholes.  

Not quite as simple as the top above, but so pretty. Just takes a little planning. 

Here's the same neckline. So pretty on a basic top.

Another idea. Cut the neckline out and then add back the straps. Thread through a cord and accent the openings with a bead.  

The same neckline up close.

Rather than a bare shoulder, I love the idea of a corded yoke.

This takes a little more effort. Design the "v" on the pattern and create a facing. Then keep them in place with a cord and beads or buttons to accent the point of the "v."

A simple t-shirt made special with the corded inserts.

Similar to the first top, this is so easy to do. Just cut a strip of fabric. The piece in the picture below was not cut on the bias. Just attach it to the neckline, and if you want to embellish it, add a bead. 

This could really be quite pretty as an inset on a blouse.

I found the video below that shows how to make the neckline. It's not in English, but it's detailed enough that you can follow along.

Happy Sewing! 


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Saturday, January 12, 2019

A New Year of Learning and Improving!

Creativity is good for the soul :) 
And, it has been a very creative week for me! I began a pottery class on Thursday night. I felt like I was 5 years old again, playing with clay, feeling the squishy mud in my hands. This is my first experience with doing pottery, so it's a brand new world for me. I told the teacher that I just want to learn the basics, and then we'll see where it goes.

I spent the day yesterday, and will again today, taking a class on doing a fabulous travel bag. While I could have done it on my own, I so love being in a class where I get told what to do, and all I have to do is do what I'm told ;) I can't wait to share my bag with you! It has been a lot of work as it involves a huge amount of quilting. I say quilting, it's really just sewing straight lines, but it's still a lot of work. 

While quickly putting something together that you can throw on is lots of fun, and I think, good for the soul, it's also good to slow down, and use more refined skills. I signed up for the Susan Khalje Sewing Club on Facebook. Initially, I was curious, and then, I was quite pleased to see how Susan has formatted the group. The first project was the couture skirt.

The pattern is a basic pencil skirt, but it offers 3 options for the waistband. This is a fabulous option because...we aren't all created the same :) There's a traditional waistband, a contoured waistband, and finally, no waistband.

In the Facebook group, Susan has posted step by step videos on how to create a true couture skirt. Once you begin your project, you are then invited to share your fitting issues. Susan will comment on the fit, and what she feels you need to do to obtain a perfect fit. I have been very impressed with the before and after photos of those who have completed their skirts. Just amazing!  

The second pattern is this beautiful Boatneck Top. I prefer to call it a ballerina top, as that is what I think of when I see this neckline. It is such a lovely neckline for women.

Take note of how the pattern was developed. There are 2 darts radiating from the side seam, and a dart at the top of the sleeve. The sleeve options are many. You may choose the little cap sleeve, or the various lengths of a straight sleeve, short, 3/4, or long. You may also cut the sleeve on the bias. 

I am so very excited about getting started on both projects!!! And you'll be able to share in my progress :) So stay tuned :)

If you think you might be interested in the Susan Khalje Sewing Club, there are a few options. If you think you would just like a taste, there is a 3 month membership. For those who think they might want to jump in a little deeper, there is a 6 month membership. And finally, a year long membership for full immersion. You can find all of the options HERE.

Here's a little video from Susan, explaining what the sewing club is all about.

A friend of mine was recently out skiing, fell and broke his arm in 2 places requiring surgery. Another friend commented that when he was younger, he would set goals for each year, hoping to get a little better with each passing season. He said that all he hopes for now is to stay out of the clinic :/

I think that many of us have had sewing related accidents. I have sewn through a finger more times than I would like. But one thing about sewing, most likely, our accidents will not land us in the clinic!!! And as long as we see, we can improve. Here's to a fabulous year of learning and improving :)

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

A New Challenge

A very belated...
Happy New Year! 

A new year. As the calendar rolled over to 2019, I thought back to a math assignment that I was given when I was in the 1st grade. We had to figure out how old we would be in the year 2000. Once I figured out the problem, I looked at my age and thought, "Well, that's like dead!!!" Now, here we are 19 years after the year 2000 rolled around, and I don't feel anywhere near as old as I thought I would be in the year 2000, and especially, not dead! Such a blessing :)

A friend of mine and I began having weekly check-ins in January last year. We began the year by sharing our goals, and then would check in each week to see how we were doing. Neither of us accomplished everything on our lists, but it was such a great way to help each of us stay on track, and I think we both accomplished more by having to check-in than we would have if we were left to ourselves. If you have a friend that you love and trust, I highly recommend doing this. It's such a great way to feel as though you aren't alone in the world, to have someone else care about what you would like to accomplish, and then to hold you accountable. 

As for blogging...

You may remember that Becky of Trial Balloons and I challenged each other last summer with 4 weeks of woven tees. I so enjoyed the challenge. Each week we had a different theme, and neither of us knew what the other would be creating. Below are the pieces I did. Each was done with the free raglan sleeved tee pattern from Fabric-Store.com

Since we both enjoyed the challenge, we have decided to do another for the month of February. Once again, the pieces will all be woven, but this time around, we will be doing tweed shirts. We will both be using the same pattern, the Francine top and dress pattern from Merchant and Mills.

 I like the nice basic lines of the pattern.

Becky has made the top a number of times and has been quite pleased with it. Check out THIS post to see the top she made for her son's girlfriend. Lucky girl!!! I have not made the pattern, but I am very excited about giving it a try and seeing what I come up with for my challenge pieces.

If you would like to purchase the pattern and follow along, you can purchase the pattern from Oak Fabrics in Chicago. I had initially looked up the pattern online and thought that I would order it from Merchant and Mills. Believe it or not, I awoke one morning at 4 a.m. and the thought occurred to me that Oak Fabrics just might carry it. So, I looked, and sure enough they did! Since I live in Chicago, it was easy enough for me to just pop over and pick up the pattern. So, if you are in the United States, and would rather not pay the shipping from the U.K., pop over to the Oak Fabrics site and she will get it out to you quickly. 

I have chosen a number of fabulous tweeds from my stash of fabrics. It's a win, win for me, I get some fabulous new pieces, and delete a few pieces from the stash.

I have another fun project that I will be working on this year. More on that tomorrow!


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Sunday, January 6, 2019