Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Classic Shirt

I know, I know... I promised you over 3 weeks ago that I'd show you something pretty I'd made. I even teased you with this photo.


Finally I can show you the rest of it! This project has been a lesson in developing patience, and I won't bore you with all the details. Just know, folks, that this time it wasn't my fault! Ha!

I didn't take many in-progress photos, but here are a couple. A pair of pretty sleeve plackets...


... and the finally acquired perfect buttons.


Voilà! It's a Classic Shirt, completed!


I just today got some long-awaited photos of it being modeled on its owner, whom most of you know as my daughter, Jess (a.k.a. HowAboutOrange). I guess good photographers have a busy schedule and can only be used when they're available. ;)



Apparently she really likes the curved cuffs.


And then she hides them. Oh, well. LOL


The gorgeous fabric was designed by Jess herself for Cloud9 Fabrics. It is the Poet print from her Business Class collection of rayon. It's available in stores now.

The pattern I used was the Classic Shirt by Liesl + Co.


It was a nice pattern to sew from, although I think when I use it next time, I'll try a couple of different techniques from my old vintage patterns. "Next time"? Yes! I have fabric (more lovely rayon) and plans to make one for myself. But don't hold your breath, as it may not get done before fall. Although if our crazy weather doesn't warm up soon, maybe I'll want it before that. One never knows.

I just completed another bag pattern test. The pattern will be released in the next couple of days, so soon I can show you that, too. Then another pattern test from a new-to-me designer is coming up the end of this week, so I'm keeping my sewing machine busy!

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Pop Pouch

If you've been following my blog for very long, you know that I've tested a number of patterns for LiEr of the ikatbag blog. The most recent one was the Port & Sort Tote nearly 3 years ago, although I did proofread and eventually sewed the Bunny with its coat just over a year ago. LiEr writes quite unique patterns, and one I particularly had fun with (besides the Bunny) was The Menagerie pattern because not only was it super cute but there was so much potential for other critters to be made from it.

Well, she's done it again! This time it's a pencil case of sorts... but not just any simple pencil case. It stands upright and looks like this when closed.


Or it could look like this!


Opened up via the zippered top, and you get this.


Or another view looks like this. (Yes, I had a little fun matching the print.)


The zipper tab/handle is a piece of grosgrain ribbon I'd bought in a grab bag. It doesn't exactly go that well, but it was the closest thing I had.


That same ribbon is also used to finish off the inner cup, although it doesn't show unless you lift up and peek under the outer cup, but that edge did need to be bound with something, so why not?


The uniqueness of this pouch is that it can be used at any height. The outer part slides up and down, yet it's constructed such that it stays at the height you put it, so it exposes the contents 'just right'. Here are some examples of it at different heights.


The bottom right photo shows that there are also some little slip pockets on one side for if you want to keep some of the contents separated from the rest and easy to get at. It's a cool little pouch!

The pattern is definitely not for beginners. It's got some fiddly parts to making it, particularly like sewing on the firm round base in a small area. It also has somewhat thick seams in places. But if you're an experienced sewer and have wrangled a bag or two, you can make this. The explanations and photos are very clear for putting it together.

This is a great scrap buster project. I used a bit of canvas that Jess (a.k.a. How About Orange) designed a few years ago for the outer fabric. The inner cup part is from a solid canvas, and the lining is ripstop nylon. LiEr wrote a very helpful blog post about the different fabrics and interfacings that can be used, and you can read that here. The pattern can be purchased in her pattern shop here (it isn't available as of this writing but will be very SOON). There are photos of pouches made by the other pattern testers in this post.

These pouches would be great little gifts... for most anyone! Start your Christmas sewing now! ;)

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Stand By Me Pouch

I guess it's about time I get back here and post a few things. I'm starting to get a small backlog of completed projects. However, at the moment, this is the only thing I can show you. Another was for a pattern test, and the pattern is not available yet (but hopefully by the end of the week). The other I just finished yesterday, but it must get to its recipient so I get some great photos to show you. This week???

So here's what I CAN show you. It's called the Stand By Me Pouch, from the pattern by Sorry I Can't, I'm Sewing. It can be purchased here, if you're interested.


It was quick to sew, and pretty easy. Putting the circular bottom on was the hardest part, and of course I had to add to the challenge of it by adding piping and using laminated fabric on the inside (not to mention trying to do it in a hurry), so it's a bit imperfect, but if you can't see what the problem is, then that's good. Or maybe you can. ;)


I got the laminated fox fabric (which was designed by Rae Hoekstra) from a scrap grab bag that I bought from Cloud9 Fabrics awhile back. It was just barely big enough for this pouch so was the perfect choice, plus it'll protect the inside of the pouch from any pencil marks or whatever might mess it up from the contents.


Yes, it would work great for storing pencils.


Or for holding Easter treats, which happened to be the case with this one.


The polka dot outer fabric came in another grab bag I'd bought from an Etsy shop. I like grab bags, mainly for the variety. Also because they're always a surprise as to what you're getting!

The fabric for the project I finished yesterday did not come from a grab bag. It is SO PRETTY, as is the end result! I can't wait to show you! I love it so much that I'll even give you a little sneak peek right here just to tease you.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Catch All Caddy

I mentioned at the end of my last post that I had a project in the works but that I was struggling with it. I did manage to finish it, but it wasn't easy! It was worth the battle, though (more on that below), and here it is!


It's the "Catch All Caddy", which is a ByAnnie pattern, and it can be found here. (Tip: you might be able to find it cheaper on Etsy!)

I've wanted to make something for myself from this fabric ever since it came out, but I just never found 'the right thing', y'know? Finally I did! I think it looks great on this caddy. It took some fussy cutting, and since it's a one-way design, I had to seam the piece that goes across the bottom (which the pattern calls the "side piece" but I consider more of a gusset) so that the print was right side up on each end. The fabric is barkcloth, designed by Jess (a.k.a. How About Orange) a few years ago. It's called Sunburst, from her Time Warp collection for Cloud9 Fabrics. (Hmm... 4 years ago already!)


I used a solid canvas for the lining, and the handles, bindings, and sleeve for the base are made from a twill fabric.


All the side and pocket pieces are quilted with ByAnnie's Soft and Stable in between. I quilted mine by sewing around the circles, which I found rather fun. Here's a close-up view of it (as well as the luscious texture of the barkcloth.


Once again, I used lots of Wonder Clips in the process!


The pattern was good, with lots of helpful tips and even a page of little labels that you could copy and print to help keep track of what each of your pieces was. The pattern also lists a nice video tutorial done by Annie on how to join the ends of bindings. It worked perfectly for me. (There is also a set of video tutorials done by someone else on YouTube on making the caddy. I watched them but wouldn't recommend them. I think it's better to just follow the pattern instructions.)

As you may have guessed by now, considering the fabrics I used plus the Soft and Stable, my seams were rather thick. Here's how thick - yikes!


When I chose my fabrics, I had no idea how many layers I would have to be sewing through. I just figured my good ol' 49-year-old Kenmore could handle just about anything, so I wasn't worried. I should have been. When it came to the final binding that goes around the outside, I seriously thought I wasn't going to be able to do it and would have to finish the second side of the binding by hand. But I gave it a try, and despite 3 machine lockups and 3 broken needles, plus several do-overs, we made it! It's not the neatest work I've ever done, but since the caddy is for myself, I'm okay with it. I'm just glad to have it DONE!!! And I'm very pleased with the over-all look of it.

I included a little secret inside. Right down in that bottom corner. Can you see it?


Have a closer look below. I kept a bit of the selvage with Jess's (my daughter, for those of you who might not know) name on it as a little memento. I like it.


For some size reference, here's a shot of my caddy loaded up with sewing supplies. It holds a ton of stuff! It'll be great for hauling things between my upstairs "fabric room" (where it all seems to have migrated due to better lighting for matching colors, etc.), my kitchen table where I do my cutting, and my basement sewing room.


So that's done. Whew! Hardest sewing I've ever done. But now I feel like I can conquer ANYTHING, especially bindings! Hahaha! I do have more projects lined up, one of which is already begun, and another which is a pattern test (but not for Dog Under My Desk this time). Not to mention various other "when I get time" ideas.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Daily Duffel

Blame it on the weather. That's the reason I haven't posted for over a month(!). I've had a project finished, but I couldn't show it to you until I'd gifted it, and due to snowstorms, school closings, snowy roads, etc., I had not been able to get it to its recipient until yesterday. The recipient is Courtney, who is also a busy girl after school on some of my Tuesdays this year, which added to the reasons this post was delayed. But let's delay no further!

I tested another bag pattern for Dog Under My Desk, which if you've followed my blog very long, you know I love to do because she writes the best patterns ever. Here's a progress photo of all the pieces after I'd gotten the interfacing fused.


The fabrics may look familiar, because they are the same as I'd used in these bags which I made for Courtney for her birthday last year. I just love those Cats in the Library (by Timeless Treasures)!

The pattern includes Erin's easy-to-follow instructions for a flawless zipper pocket with no raw edges inside, including the zipper tape.

(The Paw Prints are also by Timeless Treasures.)

I made my first-ever double-pull zipper. Yes, I made it, and it's easy to do! Erin has a video tutorial on how to add a zipper pull (or to replace one if you accidentally pulled it off). You can find that tutorial here.


I made good use of my Wonder Clips again. How did I ever get by without them way back when?!


The outer bag and lining, all ready to put together:


The beauty of this new pattern is that Erin figured out a brilliant way to make a "drop-in" lining that doesn't require any hand sewing. It's the most challenging part of the pattern, in my opinion, but if you take it slowly and follow the instructions closely step-by-step, you can have a result like this:


I did some fussy-cutting on this bag. It wasn't too hard.


Here's the back of the bag....


... and the front, which has a divided pocket, if you look closely. That fussy-cutting came out just right - yay!


Here's the completed Daily Duffel bag, but it's a little hard to figure out the size from the photos of it alone, so....


... here it is held by my favorite young model, as she was leaving last night. I almost forgot to snap a pic! (Also, you can see the tons of snow we have around here right now. Ugh. There's more on the way this coming weekend, too. Spring, we need you SOON!!!)


The Daily Duffel pattern includes two sizes. The one I made is the smaller one. You can find the pattern to purchase here, and Erin tells more about it and shows the other testers' photos in her blog post here. Her little son, Emmett, looks pretty darn cute carrying his Daily Duffel, too!

I should be back sooner next time. Should. I have another project nearly completed, but it's giving me fits. It's my fault, because the fabrics I chose are really too thick, so I'm having quite a time with some of the final stitching. More on that when I show it to you. I WILL conquer it. Eventually. Because I have a number of other projects in the queue!