Monday, October 3, 2016

Gerbera Mini Crossbody Bag #2

Well, where were we? Or maybe the question should be, "Where have I been?" I've been here, sewing (among other things). If you recall from my last post, Jess and I had made plans for three bags. I've now made two of them. Here's what went into the second one, including a change of plans for the strap fabric, which became the somewhat wrinkled stuff on the bottom/right of the pile. I happened to think that a strap out of the light-colored barkcloth would show the dirt awfully fast, so I suggested substituting this. It had actually been part of a pair of drapes at one time. Upcycling is good, yes?

I adjusted my pattern pieces according to what I'd learned the first time around, and everything fit together the way it was intended to. I also used a technique [learned from Erin Erickson(Gilbey)'s patterns] for getting the corners at the ends of the zipper to turn out nicer, and that helped a lot. So everything went much better this time. I was so pleased with how my zippers turned out, in fact, that I had to stop and take photos of them. Ha.

Sooo... here's my second Gerbera Mini Crossbody Bag (from the free pattern found here).

See those nice corners? Yay!

This time I also used the band pleather for the zipper tabs, the D-ring tabs...

... and for the gusset, for a fun change. Incidentally, for this bag I made the gusset in a single long piece instead of the seamed gusset that the pattern called for. Seaming is best for directional prints, but I didn't need that for either the outside or the lining this time, and an unseamed gusset is stronger.

The lining and inside zippered pocket are from the brownish fabric in the top photo.

I'm still liking my little labels... and most of the time I remember to put them in, although sometimes not until it's almost too late. (They glue well, too. Ha.)

I tried something new this time. Awhile back I'd heard about Chicago Screws, and I bought some. They are like rivets only they screw together. Because this strap fabric was so thick, my other rivets seemed too small, and it would've been very difficult to get two lined up straight together. So I went with these, and I'm glad I did. You punch a hole, the same as for other rivets, and then you screw the two pieces together instead of pounding. My only concern is that they might unscrew over time, so I have some Loctite on the way. These are a nice alternative, but I think I like regular rivets better just because you don't have the visible screw slot on one side. No biggie, though, I guess.

(Just FYI, if you consider purchasing the Chicago Screws I linked to above, be aware that even though the description says 1/4", they actually measure slightly more than 3/8".)

The fabric was so thick that I had to make the strap non-adjustable because it wouldn't fit through a slider, plus I couldn't even fold it under decently at the ends, so I didn't tuck the end under and instead just zigzagged the raw edges twice, and I like how that turned out.

Here are the two bags, from Jess's In Theory and Time Warp barkcloth collections for Cloud9 Fabrics.

For details on the needed pattern adjustments, see my first here.

I took the photos in the living room because there was so much good natural light coming in the windows today. Josie and Annabelle were delighted to watch and very eager to help, but by the time I got done, this is what the scene looked like. Poor things - I guess I worked them too hard.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Gerbera Mini Crossbody Bag

When Jess was home, we really didn't get a chance to do any sewing projects, but we did do some planning (of stuff for ME to do - ha). Here are some fabric combos we came up with, all containing some of her barkcloth. We settled on a free pattern from Blue Calla Designs, the Gerbera Mini Crossbody Bag, which can be found here.

I finished one bag this week. For using only three pattern pieces, there was a lot of cutting to do. The strap and tabs were all cut by measurements, and then there was a lot of interfacing and fusible fleece. I counted around 32 pieces by the time I got all done!

Soon after I started sewing, I discovered a problem. The pieces didn't fit together correctly. This piece was off by 1/4" at each end! Not good when the seam allowances are only 3/8". It wasn't obvious before sewing that it wasn't going to fit because it was sewn on a curve. Fortunately, I was able to just trim off the excess and go on.

Checking out the pattern pieces, I discovered that there were a number of discrepancies. The outer pieces (one option was a solid panel, the other was pieced) were not the same size, and only the pieced panel fit with the top band.

Then there was the lining piece. It wasn't the same size as either piece, and besides that, it turned out to be 1/4" too tall, which meant the lining ended up being 1/2" too wide. It simply was too big for the bag.

I wasn't pleased with how the corners turned out, but that was mostly my own fault. I should've used the lining fabric instead of the barkcloth on the zipper tabs, because it was thinner, and since some of the lining peeked out, it would've been less obvious. I should've also used dark thread for the ends there - I didn't realize the stitches would show like this.

This pattern used a technique I'd heard of but never tried before, and that was turning the bag through the inside zippered pocket at the end. It was kind of a necessity, otherwise there would have had to be a turning hole in the gusset, and that wouldn't have looked as nice. This method worked okay, but it did make it much harder (impossible?) to look inside and see if things were looking okay (like my corner mismatch up above).

Also, next time I'll use Erin (Erickson) Gilbey's method for making nicer corners. ;)

I get so frustrated when patterns are 'off'. Don't they get tested before they're released? Do the testers not notice errors or gloss over them, afraid to criticize? Do they report problems but the author does nothing about them? I don't know, but I've sure found a lot of not-up-to-par patterns recently. I think the authors may be in too much of a hurry.

Still, this bag ended up pretty cute. Here's kind of a crummy pic I took quickly to send to Jess to show her the cute plumpness of the bag. It has pleats on each side, which give it the extra fullness.

Despite all, it's not a bad bag!

As I mentioned, it has a zippered pocket inside.

Even though it's small, it should hold plenty of stuff!

Jess also wanted pics of the bag with me wearing it, for a size reference, so I might as well include them here, too, so you'll get a better idea of the size of the bag.

And we think it's cute, so knowing what I know now, I'm going to make another one. I already have my pattern pieces adjusted and am ready to cut. Hopefully this one will go more smoothly and turn out much nicer than the first one!

On a side note, I bought myself a new sewing aid a few weeks ago. It's an LED light with a flexible neck and a magnetic base (which I was surprised did not stick to my 'heavy metal' sewing machine, but my solution for that is a story for another time). It's very useful, especially for sewing on dark stuff at night in my basement sewing room.

I got it from Amazon. There is also strip LED lighting available, but I decided to get this because I thought the flexibility might be better... plus it was cheaper. :)

On another side note, I finally took a pic of bra #3, so hopefully I'll get a post written about that before too long. Just don't hold your breath, okay? I don't want anybody turning blue waiting! ;)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Crafting with Courtney - Guest Post

I have a guest poster this time. It's Miss Courtney herself! She's going to tell you about the other project she made with Auntie Jess last week. Take it away, Courtney!

Hi everyone, it's Courtney ( as you know )!

Two years ago I went to see Auntie Jess and of course you can't forget Uncle Alex. :) We had an idea for a project. First we made a little house. P.S I will talk about the name later in case if you are wondering.

We had fun decorating this cute little house!

Here is the inside, with three beds, a dresser, a window with a curtain, pics on the walls and you just can't lock the keys in your house. LOL!

We made these cute PomPom Puppies that live in the house and sleep in the beds.

Here's a better look at them. Their names are Frankie, Angel, and Princess.

When Auntie Jess was here last week we made another PomPom Puppy..... except this is a PomPom Kitty! We designed it to look like my kitty Zoey. In these pics I am cutting the yarn.

Now Zoey's head is getting a yarn cut. P.S Auntie Jess is doing the butt. LOL! :)

Here are pics of the finished PomPom Kitty (Zoey).

Thank You for reading my blog post! Make sure to leave a comment! Have a great day! BYE!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Crafting with Courtney

The ol' blog got neglected again... but for a good reason! Jess (a.k.a. How About Orange, a.k.a. Auntie Jess) was home for a few days - hurray! It was a busy time that went by WAY TOO FAST.

Of course Miss Courtney came over to spend some time with her auntie, and of course that meant 'projects'! Here's a photo of part of the process. Can you guess what they're looking at so intently in the oven?

If you guessed anything food-related, you're WRONG. But if your guess was Shrinky Dinks, then pat yourself on the back, because you're ever so right. They were watching their very first one shrink. It was a test to see how much it would actually shrink. Here it is, next to a couple of bigger objects for comparison.

Pretty little, huh?

With that in mind, they went to work drawing more. YouTube videos were very helpful. Toast and coffee helped, too. (Also notice - no cats on the table! Not that they didn't try. Ha.)

With a tray of tiny Shrinkies in the oven and men in the house, this became the scene.

Here is the result of three separate sessions of Shrinky Dink designing.

Can't forget the obligatory signature 'eye' photo!

But we did almost forget two of the tiniest Shrinkies. See them below? Look for strawberries. They're actually about ¼ inch high!

I uploaded the photo immediately above in a larger size, so if you want to see all the details better, just click on it. I think they're pretty awesome! Courtney's daddy was pretty proud of his work, too... he even drew his Big Red (that's its name) tractor all by himself, plus he crosshatched the ears of the puppy at the bottom right. Way to go, Daddy... and Courtney and Jess, too! (Grandma and Grandpa did not make any.)

You can also see the little jump rings on most of them. They will be charms for a bracelet, but we didn't have time to get them onto it before we left to go out for yummy supper. Hopefully Courtney will be wearing the bracelet with some of the charms on it when she comes here after her first day of school on Tuesday. (Where did the summer go?!!!)

Jess and I didn't really have time for any sewing projects while she was here, but we did pick out fabrics for three bags. So if I disappear again, that's what I'm working on. Hopefully I'll get the next installment of "For Women Only" written soon, though. So much to do... so pokey I am in my old age! ;-)

Oh, and there's one more Courtney-craft project that happened with Auntie Jess. It was fun, but the Shrinky Dinks were by far the biggest hit. Do you suppose I could get Miss C to write the post about the other project herself???

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sewing with Courtney - Emoji #2

Courtney did, indeed, sew another emoji pillow on Tuesday. Here she is, hard at work on her favorite emoji of all. Does it look familiar to you?

She likes to use that one a lot when she texts. Here's the finished pillow.

So now she has two emoji pillows!

Of course we had to have some silliness. :)

That last one's my favorite. ;-Þ