Monday, March 2, 2020

Crafting with Courtney, Christmas 2019

Backtracking a bit here, to the promised Christmas crafting project....

What would you make if you had a whole bag of corks to work with? Before coming here, Jess went around begging their neighbors for corks for a special craft project. She hit the jackpot and got all of these from generous friends who had been saving them for a very long time! Thanks, J & T!

I didn't even think to take photos during the actual making (which covered a couple of days), but here are the resulting creatures.

Courtney and Auntie Jess made them all.

Aren't they just the cutest? I did manage to get some individual pics, so I put them into a collage. If you click on it to enlarge it, you can get a better look.

Meanwhile, in another part of the kitchen, there was this going on.

This was one of the hardest puzzles I've ever worked on. It took years to complete! Ha - we started it maybe 4 years ago when Jess and Alex were home for Christmas and couldn't finish it, so we put it away and forgot about it till now. We were determined to finish it this time. So determined, in fact, that we didn't put it away for anything... even meals! LOL

We did it!! With the help of eyeglasses and some yummy coctails, we made it through, and here is the completed puzzle. There were soooo many little details in there, which you'd think would help, but they sure did not. Lots of time and patience was needed, as well as different pairs of eyes occasionally. It was great fun!

There. We're done with Christmas now. I have two completed sewing projects and another one under way, so I'll be back to show you soon. "Soon" is a relative term, you know. ;)

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Slim Sling

I'm getting way behind here on the posting! It's not that I haven't been doing anything. I just haven't taken the time to post because it would take time away from the projects. Besides the Christmas crafting with Courtney that I mentioned last time, I've had another completed sewing project in the blog post queue... plus I'm nearly done with another. I'm going to preempt those posts, though, to get this one out today, in case someone might be interested in purchasing this new pattern while it's on sale at 20% off.

I tested another new pattern for Linds Handmade Designs, and the pattern was released yesterday. She does a great job on her patterns, and I've made several of them, as you can see here. This one is the Slim Sling, which is a simple pouch for holding a phone and a few little essentials, plus it has three card slots. Here is my version.

The pattern is written for leather/vinyl/cork... anything that doesn't fray on the edges... so fabric would not be a good choice for this bag. I used some faux leather that I had on hand.

There are two options in the pattern. One has a zippered pocket on the back, but I chose to make the other one, which has a clear vinyl back, so you can see and USE your device without taking it out of the bag. How cool is that?!

I gifted this one to my favorite model, Miss Courtney herself (who is now a teenager, BTW - how did that happen so fast?!). We picked up her and her parents to go out for supper last night, so I was able to snap a couple pics when I gave it to her.

Below she's in the car already playing a game on her iPod. She was very pleased with how easily it worked through the vinyl.

So there you have the Slim Sling, the pattern for which can be purchased here. The discounted price (on everything in the shop, in fact... lots of cool goodies to choose from!) ends tomorrow night - Sunday, February 23rd - so if you're interested, grab it quickly! Lindsay has also made some SVG files to be used with cutting machines to make your cutting out easy and precise, although it's not difficult to cut by hand. I cut mine with a rotary cutter very easily. But precision counts for this pattern!

I learned some new things while making this, the best of which is about edge coating leather, etc. There are a few layers of edge coat on mine, and I found it rather fun to do. You don't HAVE to coat the edges, but I like the finished look it provides.

Okay, back to the sewing for me. I'll try not to keep you in suspense for so long waiting for the next post(s), but as always... don't hold your breath. ;)

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Christmas gift sewing

Wow, where did the last month go? It guess it flew by with Christmas preparations, Christmas celebrating, and post-Christmas recovery. :)

I did a little sewing of gifts this year, and it was unusual in that I made things for the "boys" for a change. Grandpa really liked the Benjamin Dopp Kit I made for him last June, so I decided to make one for our son, too. I had to order new waxed canvas, which I got from A.L. Frances Textiles on Etsy. It's excellent quality but stiffer than what I made Grandpa's kit from, so it proved to be much more challenging to sew with when it came to thick seams. Much more. Eek! I like how it turned out, though, and it's sturdy enough to last him probably the rest of his life, considering the amount of traveling he does. Heheh. Funny how he happened to get some items to put inside it, and they weren't even from me. Hmm.... that just occurred to me. Santa must've known....

The pattern was from a free tutorial found here. Grandpa said the purse feet, though a nice touch, weren't really necessary, but I added them anyway because they're the only thing that holds the base in place inside. And I just like them. I added the strap, too, for carrying convenience.

Our son-in-law does do a LOT of traveling, and since it's better that he keep his items in a clear plastic bag for airline inspections, I didn't make him a dopp kit. Instead, I made him a passport holder for when he travels out of the country.

I didn't have a pattern for that. I googled passport holders and just made up my own from the images I found. I had some leftover cork, and it was perfect for this project. It made for no seams to finish, so it was a rather quick project. Well, except for getting the "monogram" lined up just right. The perfectionist in me isn't quite pleased, but it wasn't do-over-able.

There's also room for credit cards, receipts, boarding passes and/or whatever.

I made him a little "passport" so he'd know what it was for.

If I'd been a little more talented, I'd have made the cover to look like an actual passport, but I'm not, so he got this:

Ha! And that concludes my Christmas sewing.

Some "Crafting with Courtney" went on during Christmas week, so hopefully I'll get that posted before too long.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Little bright projects

What a gloomy year it's been, for the most part. So much cloudiness and so much precipitation. Fall was no exception. In fact, I feel like we got cheated out of fall altogether, and since it's my favorite time of year, that's pretty sad. I got tired of the dark dreary days lately and decided it was time for some bright, colorful sewing projects.

Months ago, I received some fabric samples from one of Jess's good friends who is from Japan. (She's the one, in fact, whose baby I sewed the tiny cowboy boots for.) The fabrics were so beautiful, and I wanted to make something special from them. Whatever I made had to be little, because the pieces were about 10" square. The gloomy weather finally inspired me to get going and sew some of them up, and here's what I made:

If you've been following me long, you'll probably recognize the Triple-Zip Pouch from the tutorial by Debbie Jeske. This is actually the 10th one I've made! (See the others here.) Yes, I love them, and they're so quick and fun to make. And isn't that fabric simply gorgeous? Fortunately the print went all directions, because I had to cut the two top pieces the opposite direction from the main piece in order to make it work. I think I have maybe a half-inch strip left. LOL

Here's more of the beauty on the back side. The photos don't even do it justice. The gold is kind of glittery. I was a little leery about ironing it, but it wasn't a problem at all.

I plan to use it to hold things I'd transfer from one purse to another, to make the switch easier. Since I make a lot of bags (huge understatement there), I do occasionally switch which one I carry, just for fun. The bad part of switching is always transferring all the little stuff, and this pouch will make it a breeze.

Just in case you wondered, that bottom item in the photo above is a fold-up brush. The bristles push down inside, and it folds up like a compact. I got it from Courtney for Christmas last year, and I love it!

The other item I made is something useful that I've needed for a long time. Can you guess what it is?

It's folded, like this:

It's a postage stamp holder!

I've made a couple of them before to use as sticker holders. They're very easy to make, and you can see a little tutorial here. I don't use a lot of stamps these days, but what I do have had been stored in a very raggedy envelope that the post office used to put your purchased stamps in... many years ago. It most definitely needed replacing. So now I have this beautiful little stamp holder from lovely Japanese fabrics - yay! I laminated the fabric with Heat 'n Bond iron-on vinyl, and I used a KAMsnap for closure. Perfect! And now I will think of Jess's friend Megumi every time I use the stamp holder or pouch.

I still have a couple of the fabric samples, so if you know of any cute little projects I could make from them, I'm up for suggestions!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Cleanup Clutch

Yep, I'm still alive. Nope, the blog hasn't died. It's not that I don't have things to sew... I guess I just took a sewing hiatus! I didn't touch my sewing machine for over a month! It felt kinda good for a change. I did other stuff, like clean out some drawers (fun - ha), did some other cleaning, read a lot, played some word games on my iPad. Just things other than sewing.

But I was beginning to have some withdrawals, so I was glad when Linds Handmade Designs called out for pattern testers again. Since I'd already made her Dayna Pack and tested her Twofer Tote, I knew this new pattern would be a good one, too. 

Here is her latest - the Cleanup Clutch. Front:


Under the flap:

The pattern calls for magnetic snaps, but I decided to use KAMsnaps, just for fun and some color.

The pattern also suggests adding a couple of rivets to hold the flap seam securely, and I did that. Hey, rivets don't intimidate me quite as much as they used to (about time)!

Here's what it looks like opened fully. It has two large slip pockets, a zippered pocket, and two smaller slip pockets to hold a flat package of wipes. It's actually designed to be a diaper clutch... for those quick trips when you don't want to drag a big 2-ton diaper bag along. The pattern includes instructions for a laminated changing mat, which I didn't make this time, for lack of laminated fabric. But it would fold up nicely and fit into one of the slip pockets perfectly.

It's a great clutch and would be handy for a lot of things. This one might get used in the car to hold hand sanitizer, Kleenex, and/or whatever. It folds up compactly.

It's a generously sized clutch - 10"w x 7"h x 1"d.

Just for fun, here's a collage I made of my pics, which appears in Linds's shop.

The fabrics I used are from a canvas line designed by Jess (a.k.a. How About Orange) a few years ago. I'm scrapbusting. Boy, do I have a long way to go! LOL

The pattern for the Cleanup Clutch can be purchased here. It's a great pattern and is easy to sew (and you don't HAVE to use rivets if they intimidate you - ha!). I think it'd be perfect for baby gifts if you don't have a baby yourself. It's at a discounted price (along with everything else in her shop!) for the rest of this weekend, so if you have an inkling to buy it, the time is now!