Friday, December 16, 2016

Zipper Organizer

I made a quick little project this week. If you saw this in-progress pic of it, could you guess what it was?

I didn't think so. How about this, where it's all sewn?

I wouldn't have known, either, so here it is in use:

A few days ago, someone pointed me to a brand new pattern for a zipper organizer, and it sounded perfect to me, since I'd been wondering how to organize and store all the zippers I've accumulated. It's a pattern designed by Michelle Wootton of Birdcage and Thread, and it can be found here. You can't beat the price of only $2.00! It was well-written and even had a nice video tutorial to go with it. It was also easy to sew!

I used some of Jess's older fabric, her Sunflower canvas. I didn't have the grosgrain ribbon the pattern called for, so I improvised by sewing a fabric tube and pressing it flat. It worked just fine. The hooks are actually drapery hooks, and I dug around and found 55 of them in a drawer - enough for more than two organizers! (Sometimes it pays to save everything!)

There are 11 hooks on each side....

.... so the organizer holds up to 110 zippers, with 5 on each hook.

I think this idea was ingenious! I can now hang my supply of zippers in a closet to prevent them from getting dusty or fading, and they're portable so I can take them wherever I want to match with fabrics. I love it! The organizer could also be used to hang belts, jewelry, or anything else that would fit on the hooks.

The photo above doesn't show all my zippers. I only put a few on there for demo purposes. I need to do some organizing by color, etc. And I probably need to make another organizer. ;)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Gatherer Crossbody Bag

If you remember (c'mon, it's only been a week this time) from my last post, I showed you what I'd received from Jess's newest fabric line for Cloud9 Fabrics, Spring Quartet in babywale corduroy. Jess and I put our heads together to see what could be made from the 2-foot square samples, and here's what happened.

First I made a strap from some lovely pleather Jess had ordered from Discounted Designer Fabrics. It was a crossbody strap, so it was about 50" long (highway hypnosis again, but only half as much as with the Heidi strap).

Here are some progress shots of the bag. There were a dozen darts!

There were a couple strips of piping, which I made from a fat quarter of cirrus solids from Cloud9 Fabrics. (The lining was also a cirrus solid.)

Next there came a little pleather tab. We didn't want raw edges like the pattern called for, so I cut it double wide and turned it under like I did for the strap. Only the ends have raw edges this way, and it's a little heavier and sturdier.

Unlike the pattern, Jess suggested a snap to hold it shut. Placement of that was a little tricky, since I wanted the flap print to line up with that of the pocket front, so I had to mainly guess as I was cutting it out. I set the snap before sewing the pocket onto the front of the bag... and held my breath to see if I'd guessed right.

After completion, it was quality-tested. (I think Josie was looking for cat hairs, probably to see if she'd managed to get enough on it. Cat hair sticks really well to corduroy.)

Finally, here it is! Did you recognize the pattern along the way? It's the Gatherer Crossbody Bag, a free pattern by Noodlehead.

My guess was a bit off on the snap placement. It could've been about an inch higher on the pocket, so it kind of pulls on the top of the bag when snapped, which bugs me, but I guess it's not a deal breaker. Lesson learned for the next time.

It has the front pocket plus a slip pocket on the inside.

My assistant photographer (Courtney, of course) was here yesterday, so she took a photo for you for size reference. She does a great job (and cut my head off as instructed)!

So there ya have it. It's a sweet little bag, pretty easy to sew, and the corduroy is great to work with. I still have the other three prints in the same 2-ft. size. What would you make from them?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Heidi Foldover Clutch & Wristlet #2

I guess it's time for another blog post, huh? Yikes, where did those 2 weeks go?! Especially since I told you previously that I'd made two things and so far I've only shown you one of those... and also because I have another item almost completed that'll be ready to blog about soon.

I guess the reason I'm so slow posting this one is that it was hard to get good photos of, and I'm still not too pleased with these, but they'll have to do. They were taken nearly a month ago, when my alyssum was still blooming so prettily in front of the garage doors, before I had to pull it all out, still blooming, in preparation for our first blizzard of the season. Ahhh... I digress...

Anyway, here it is... another Heidi Foldover Clutch & Wristlet, made in the larger size with a crossbody strap added. I had this one cut out before I sewed the other one, but since this one wasn't destined for Quilt Market, it got preempted. 

The fabric is called Zenith, and it's barkcloth from Jess's In Theory line for Cloud9 Fabrics. I did a bit of print matching, which I find challenging but fun.

This one is different from my previous one not only in size but also in that the back pocket actually opens - ha! It has a surprise of pretty pink inside.

Besides the print matching, I planned the cutout of the pieces around one of the dots... just for fun. Too bad both halves of the magnetic snap couldn't have a dot. Heehee.

I like how it opens wide. The lining is a gold canvas.

The strap and accent pieces are from some bargain pleather that Jess bought ages ago and if you've followed my blog for long you've seen on numerous other things I've made. I still have some left, so you'll likely be seeing it again. It's awesome pleather to work with - I love it!

The strap was like 50 inches long or so, so with 4 rows of stitching the whole length, it was a long road (you can do the math) and I nearly got highway hypnosis!

Jess keeps designing fabric, which is great for me, because I keep getting some of it to sew more things - yay! Her latest is something different - it's babywale corduroy this time. Here are the samples that arrived at my door the day after our blizzard. It's called Spring Quartet, and it's scheduled to be released in March.

I have a project close to completion with one of those prints (if you follow my Instagram at grandma_g415, you know which one). It sews up beautifully, and I can't wait to show you what I'm making!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Essential Wristlet with a Twist

I kept back one more small piece of Jess's new Holding Pattern fabric from the samples I returned to Cloud9 before Quilt Market, because I saw it together with this orange linen, and I just knew was meant to be! Jess had found this tutorial for a little wristlet with an outside pocket and a flap that she thought was cute. Since this was a photo-only tutorial, and the measurements were metric, I decided to simply modify the Dog Under My Desk Essential Wristlet pattern that I've used several times and know works perfectly. This is how it turned out, and I love it (despite orange not being MY favorite color)!

It took some thinking to get the proportions right and things to fit together without the seams being too thick, but it worked. Here's the back, with the two fabrics just seamed together.

It has navy lining.

Under the flap is a pocket...

... which is held closed with a snap. It happened to be the only snap I had in the perfect color - kind of a reddish-orange with a tinge of pink.

That new barkcloth line is scheduled to be released next July (I know... such a long time away!), and that particular print is called Twist of Fate. I had posted pics in the DUMD Facebook group, and without having mentioned its name, someone there commented that this is an "Essential Wristlet with a twist". It certainly is! :)

Speaking of that twist, I considered doing this scallop stitch on the strap. It would've been so perfect! But I decided it was too risky to try and get the scallops lined up just right, so I reluctantly abandoned that idea. I didn't want to take the chance of messing up my strap and have to make it all over again.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Super Moon

Did you see the Super Moon last night? Or even the one in October? I missed October's because it was cloudy, so last night with perfectly clear skies, I was ready. I wasn't sure exactly what time it was going to appear or where, but I took my camera along when I went out to feed cats, and lucky for me that was the perfect time. The perfect place for these shots happened to be from the hog barn where I feed the last ones, too. So here are my favorite shots, in the order I took them, completely unedited. (Click on any to enlarge.)

A little size perspective here:

Look closely on this next one. Below the moon and slightly to the right stood a deer. I didn't even notice it until I was looking at the pics on the computer. You might have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see better.

I managed to catch my neighbor going by on the road, too, on his 4-wheeler.

This last one I took a bit later from our driveway. The moon still looked huge over our neighbor's yard.

I hope you got to see the moon for yourself, since it's been about 70 years since it's been this close to the earth and looked so huge. If not, I hope you enjoyed these photos. Some year I'm going to get a nicer zoom lens for even better pics. Maybe. ;)

I've been sewing again, and I have a couple of new things to show you. So check back later this week.....

Monday, October 31, 2016

A new kitty

Another cat showed up at our place yesterday (as if I needed more!). This one was even black - quite appropriate for Halloween. As a matter of fact, this cat was trick-or-treating, too... just a day early. Isn't she about the cutest cat you've ever seen?

Tonight she has plans to go trick-or-treating with a friend, so to prevent it getting too late on a school night, she went to both her grandparents' places yesterday. Smart move, Miss Kitty!

I offered her some of Josie's kitty treats (Annabelle doesn't like treats, can you imagine?!), but she wasn't too keen on that idea. So Josie got those treats, and I gave her what I'd made as her 'real' Halloween treat (she gets enough candy otherwise, so I don't give sugary treats). Here it is.

Courtney loves tiny things, and I'd come across a tutorial (found here) for making these tiny zippy pouches that I thought she'd find lots of possible uses for. The tutorial calls for laminated fabric, because the pouch is unlined and the seams are unfinished, but I suppose you could get by without it if you fused woven interfacing to your fabric. However, it wouldn't leave a very nice view through the vinyl window, plus you'd have to zigzag or serge the seams. I happened to have some scraps of one of Jess's older fabrics that had been laminated, and it worked out very well. It maybe took me all of a half hour to make it. I have a few more scraps left and might even make a couple for myself to hold sewing notions like empty bobbins or something. Fun!

You can see how small it really is in the pic above where Courtney's holding it. Yep, pretty tiny!

Just to make sure she'd have something to put in it right away last night, I also got her a couple of Shopkins to go with it. They are pictured below in their little backpack cases before Courtney opened them.

The trouble with Shopkins is that you don't know what you're getting in the 2-packs. That's also a good thing in that you don't have to worry about whether you're picking something they already have. As it turned out, Courtney did have both of the ones that came in the pack above. However, she didn't mind, because that gives her two to trade with her friends who have ones she doesn't! Win-win!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Cell Phone Pouch

I made one last little thing out of Jess's new Holding Pattern barkcloth. It was very quick to sew, and I made it in a day. Jess had suggested making a cell phone pouch, and since we couldn't find a pattern that was quite what she had in mind, we made one up. She got the measurements from one she already had, made a prototype herself, and then sent me the dimensions. Here's how mine ended up. (And please don't ask for a tutorial. I don't do them. I'm lazy like that.)

It's not a snug fit for a phone. There's room for car keys, a chapstick, change, or whatever you want to take along for a quick trip 'out'. Exactly what Jess wanted.

Soooo.... below is what got shipped to Cloud9 to take to Quilt Market in Houston this week.

I have to give UPS credit. Cloud9 sent me a Next Day Air shipping label, and I dropped off the package at our local UPS after 5:00 p.m. on Monday. It was delivered to them in New Jersey before 9:00 a.m. the next morning! Amazing!

Wow - blog posts 3 days in a row for me. That's kind of amazing, too, isn't it?! Do I get some kind of a prize??? :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Heidi Foldover Clutch & Wristlet

Here's another bag that is on its way to Quilt Market. Before I got the batch of fabrics I showed you yesterday, Cloud9 had sent three smaller samples they had of Jess's new Holding Pattern barkcloth, so I actually made this before I made the Harriet tote. This is also a Swoon pattern, the Heidi Foldover Clutch & Wristlet. It's a free pattern, in case any of you want to give it a try!

The flap has a zipper closure and a magnetic snap to hold it down.

There is a zippered pocket on the back...

... but unfortunately, I somehow managed to mess up when following the instructions, and the pocket is sewn shut, which I didn't notice until the bag was all finished. Grrr!! (Actually, it's "haha" by now. Better to laugh at yourself than growl, right?) I thought I was following the instructions correctly, but when using patterns with diagrams - as this one was - it's harder to tell what's going on. I much prefer patterns with actual photos of the sewing process. I'm still not sure exactly where I went wrong, but I'd better figure it out, because I have another one cut out!

Next up (tomorrow?)... one more project for Quilt Market!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Harriet Expandable Tote

What do you do when you get a gorgeous pile of fabrics like this...

... shipped to your door? They are samples of Jess's newest barkcloth collection, called Holding Pattern. Cloud9 Fabrics shipped them to me to make sample items for them to take to Quilt Market in Houston the end of this week. I received them last Monday, and of course I sewed... which explains my extra-long absence from the blog.

Here is one of the items I made. Jess and I were gifted the pattern for the Harriet Expandable Tote from Alicia Miller (thanks, Alicia!) of Swoon Patterns, and this is the result.

Although I wouldn't recommend it for beginners, it was a great pattern with lots of details and easy-to-follow instructions. In my usual style, I made it a little more complicated by insisting on matching the print. See how my pieces line up? It wasn't as hard as it looks, and once I had the first side piece cut, the rest were a piece of cake, since I'd cut both main pieces identically.

Also making the bag more challenging was the use of pleather. Jess bought some wonderful yardages from Discounted Designer Fabrics (she ordered one day and I received them the next!), and the one she chose for this bag even has some real leather in it. It is thick and cushy, yet sews through easily. I made the handles first, using my favorite tutorial by Emmaline Bags, because there are no raw edges when completed.

Here are some more progress photos. The tote has zippered expandable sides.

Of course with all that pleather, I was again most appreciative of my Wonder Clips, in both sizes.

I tried something new this time. I've used foam stabilizer before, but this time I tried Pellon's fusible foam. I thought barkcloth would be a good test fabric for it, since if it didn't adhere well and got ripply, the texture of the barkcloth would hide it. I was quite pleased with how it worked out. It seemed to fuse well, and if it's come loose anywhere, I can't tell it. (I need to experiment with it on quilting cotton sometime, because I've heard conflicting reports about it.) I trimmed off all the seam allowances before fusing, so there was no problem when sewing. It makes for a nice sturdy bag.

I tried something else new, too. I'd installed a twist lock closure before but found cutting the hole just right to be challenging. I happened to come across a set of punches of various sizes and shapes on Amazon, so I bought a set. Here's the punch I used. It wasn't exactly the right shape, but the initial cut was made easily with it and then I only had to trim tiny bits away with a scissors.

In case you're wondering... no, I did not wear safety "googles". But I didn't lose an eye or anything, either.

Harriet has a zippered pocket inside, and the zipper installed successfully.

After it was all made, of course came the photo session. I had lots of "help". Jasper was the worst. He's a little too loving... and curious. But he can serve as a size reference, since he refused to take a pic of me holding the bag.

Harriet is a very roomy bag, especially when the expandable sides are unzipped.

This next photo was taken indoors without Jasper's help, and it shows Harriet with her sides expanded.

Just for fun, here's a close-up of that matched seam and the topstitching to the right of it.

I enjoyed making this bag, even though I was feeling some (well, a lot of) pressure to get it done on time (I shipped it to Cloud9 yesterday). It was a lot of work, as I counted 47 pieces by the time I had it all cut out, and the pleather made it feel like I was wrangling a lot, but it was all worth it in the end. I think I'd make another, although I'd be inclined to use fabric trim instead of pleather, just to make it a little easier.

BUT... that's not all I made from that beautiful fabric! There are two more projects, so come back soon (hopefully tomorrow) to see the next one!