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!