Sunday, March 18, 2018

Triple Pouch

I made another pouch. It seems I just can't resist a good pouch. After all, I'm a bag lady, right? And this looked like a rather unique pouch. Not so much from the outside, ...

... but take a look at the inside.

Yes, that's two zippers and three pockets, right? No, wait... it's actually five pockets! There is an optional slip pocket on either side of the center zip pocket.

So it's really a 5-pocket pouch!

I love how it can stand up by itself, even with nothing in it, as below.

I forgot to take a photo for size reference, so here's one I shot later. It measures about 7½" high by 9" wide, so it can hold quite a bit of stuff.

The pattern is the Triple Pouch from the book Stitched Sewing Organizers by Aneela Hoey. Fabrics are from Cloud9 Fabrics (and they were not designed by Jess - heheh). It was somewhat tricky to sew, as you might imagine, but I love how it turned out! Thanks to Rochelle of eSheep designs for pointing me to the pattern.

Now I'm off to do another pattern test.....

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Bunny & Coat

I made a bunny! A few months ago my friend LiEr of the IkatBag blog asked me if I wanted to test her latest pattern, which was a bunny softie. I wanted to, but unfortunately I was busy testing a pattern for someone else, so I wasn't able to do it. However, I was able to proofread it for her after finishing my other test. It was a beautifully written pattern (and had been tested by several others) and I knew I wanted to make a bunny when I had time. Christmas happened and other things like some sewing for Courtney's birthday, and then I finally got around to making my own bunny. Here she is!

Isn't she adorable? The pattern was great - clear and understandable with attention to every detail, which made everything very doable. The only part I found challenging was embroidering the nose, but once I trimmed out some of the bulk from those intersecting seams, it went pretty smoothly.

Here are some progress photos that I took along the way. The bottom right shows attaching the butt/legs to the upper body.

The arms were stuffed before attaching, but the rest got stuffed at the end. A forceps was very helpful in getting that stuffing in there. The feet have poly pellets in them for a little weight, as does the butt via a little pouch. It makes the bunny able to sit nicely.

The pattern comes with a carrot costume for the bunny, but I didn't make that. Maybe for Halloween? ;) But being somewhat naked, Bunny needed something to wear. LiEr also posted a tutorial on her blog for making a bunny coat. There are two options for the hood - one with ear holes and one without. Of course I had to have ear holes for my bunny. Here's the hood in progress, with the ear holes completed. The pattern made sure the seams are finished very nicely.

LiEr had a very detailed and ingenious way of constructing the coat so that it ended up all in one piece and when turned right side out, there were no raw edges. Below is a pic of the turning (a.k.a. "birthing") part. Looks crazy, huh?

But voilà! It ended up a beautiful little hooded coat!

Fully lined. No raw edges. Fabulous! The sleeves are sewn together such that the outer fleece goes to the inside to form its own cuff so the lining doesn't peek out. Like I said, ingenious!

Here she is, in her cozy warm new coat.

I know someone who has fallen in love with this bunny. It's my favorite model, and here she is, giving you a little size reference.

Last Tuesday when I went out to feed the cats, this is how I found Courtney and Bunny when I got back in.

Bunny is obviously very cuddly.

I think it's true love for sure. :)

If you're interested in making a bunny (and maybe a carrot costume, too), you can find the pattern here. The tutorial for the coat is in two parts and begins here. I highly recommend them both!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Martelli Rotary Cutters

I mentioned a month or so ago that I'd gotten some new sewing tools I was going to show you, so here's one of them. A special friend had gifted me a new rotary cutter for Christmas. To be honest, I thought, "Gee, I already have two sets of rotary cutters in various sizes - I really don't need another one." Right. I didn't NEED another one. BUT... this is like being gifted the Cadillac of cutters! Here it is, below... the larger one in front.

It's a Martelli ERGO rotary cutter, as in 'ergonomic design'. It.Is.Awesome!! It is soooo comfortable to use, and cutting is effortless compared to using my older cutters!

Here you see it as I was cutting some fabric strips (which you may recognize as the straps from these bags) for size reference...

... and how it fits into my hand when in use - a very comfortable position.

You can read more details about the cutter and other Martelli products at their website here. There are also videos so you can learn more and see it in action. I happened to see a notice recently about everything on their website being 50% off for one day, which is why I now also have the smaller (28 mm) size cutter and some spare blades. ;) They can also be purchased from Amazon.

I was practicing with the smaller cutter one day, and it was so fun that I may have gotten carried away cutting out cord wraps. You may recognize the fabrics as some of Jess's earlier designs.

I ended up with quite a few.

It was great for using up scraps! They were rather fun to take photos of, too. :)

(Template for the cord wraps can be found here.)

Then for Valentine's Day, rather than give Courtney sweets, I gave her a new charging cord for her iPod, so I made another wrap for that.

I also thoroughly enjoyed using the larger cutter (45 mm) when I cut out the bags for her birthday. I used to hate cutting out sewing projects, but these cutters make it much more fun. I suppose the novelty will wear off someday, but for now I'll indulge and enjoy. The next project is already cut and waiting for the sewing machine!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Cats in the Library

Awhile back on Instagram I'd seen fabric someone had used that I thought was so adorable, and I instantly knew I wanted some, so I tracked it down and bought it!

Also, for quite some time, I'd had the Bigger on the Inside drawstring backpack pattern by Erin (Erickson) Gilbey, but I hadn't found a use for one so hadn't sewn it yet.

Then, with Miss Courtney about to turn eleven years old on February 1st, I knew what I wanted to make for her gift! 

So here it is. Now especially for you cat lovers out there, isn't this just the cutest fabric? And the backpack is nice and big to display it perfectly.

I fussy cut it carefully, so as not to harm any kitties in the making of the bag.

Here's what it looks like cinched. The front...

... and the back.

Before I had it finished, however, Miss C told me she could use a new little pouch to store her latest collection of tiny figures, Hatchimal Colleggtibles. For those of you who might not know what they are, here's a photo I took last Tuesday when she'd brought them all along to show to me. She's acquired quite a few more since then, thanks to her birthday!

She and I decided together that the Encore Clutch, another pattern by Erin Gilbey, would be just the right size. So here it is, and it displays the kitties nicely, too (again carefully fussy cut). Front...

(Did you notice the "Kitty Tails"?)

... and back.

The set together.

You maybe noticed the kitty paw prints on the straps. The bags are both lined with it, too, and you can see it here on the backpack.

Here she is with her new bags for a little size reference.

She's wearing the backpack below, to show its size again. The straps are somewhat too long right now, but I only knotted them at the bottom so they can easily be adjusted, and then they can be lengthened out again as she grows.

Here's one more photo of the birthday girl. (Yes, she had TWO cakes!) I didn't realize until I was looking at the photos after I got home that I'd caught her twice in this one. Funny. :)

I know someone's going to ask, so I'll tell you right now that the fabrics are by Timeless Treasures. They are called Cats in the Library and Paw Prints. I got mine from, but I'm sure you can find them other places, too.

The patterns can be purchased here. If you happen to read this yet tonight (Sunday, Feb. 4), Erin has a 30% off sale on all her patterns for the rest of the day. Use code WINTERFEST.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Another new model

Remember the little baby track suit I made for a new grandnephew a couple months ago? You can read the details about it here. I was delighted last week to receive these photos of him wearing it! It's still a bit big for him, as he's not quite 5 months old yet, but babies outgrow clothes so fast that it's good to start using them a little early.

So here he is! Forget the track suit... his adorableness steals the show! Those eyes!!! 

(Photos by his parents, used with their permission.)

I wondered how difficult that top might be to get on him. His grandma reported that it was "not the easiest to get over his head, but it was doable". So I don't know if I'd use that pattern again, unless I had some super stretchy fabric. Babies don't usually like getting things put over their heads anyway, much less something that's a bit snug. So we shall see......