Sunday, September 12, 2010

She Did Love It!

So, I suppose all of the pain and anguish (and the needle through the thumb) was all worth it. She loved it! My baby turned 10 yesterday and we had a wonderful celebration!

I feel like the harder I hold on, the slower she'll age. Does that work? She looks so happy, doesn't she?

I'm working on a new project that I hope to have finished this week. I'll share as soon as I can!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's an Upside Down Kinda Day

Well, I have so many projects on the docket for today and guess how much I've gotten done...yep, nada. Zip, zero, zilch. My baby is turning 10 on Saturday and of course requested a handmade purse for her birthday...yesterday. I love it when I have exactly two days to design and complete a purse with so many requirements it would take Kate Spade 6 months to deliver. It must have a zipper, it must be able to hold the Nintendo DS in its case, it must have outside pockets but not allow things to fall out...ugh, I'm tired just thinking about it. All of this AND I must incorporate her 4 favorite fabrics. Piece o' cake! My sketching is done and most fabric is cut. Now, I fly on a wing and prayer!

Step one:
Sewing the three fabrics of choice together to make up main panels. Sewing....sewing...take them to the pressing I sewed them on upside down. Looking for seam ripper...nope, nowhere to be found. Okay, embroidery scissors will do. Snip, snip, covered in little threads, back to the sewing machine. Sew, sew, back to the pressing board...MUCH better! Just as I envisioned it.

Step two:
Apply interfacing. First panel, press, gorgeous, nice and strong. Should withstand carrying around a DS and a book or two. Second panel, hmm, why didn't the interfacing stick? Wait, are you kidding me!? I put the sticky side upside down so now I have a panel of interfacing stuck to my pressing board cover.

NOW...I need to interject here for a moment. I am typing this as it happens and I named this blog BEFORE the upside down interfacing incident. Karma? You be the judge. (Forever jinxing myself! I swear!)

Okay, carrying on with interfacing and won't make the same mistake twice.

Step three:
Sew side panels to bottom. Done. Ugh, forgot the side pockets. Seriously? No biggee, improvise.
La La La, cut pockets, ooo it needs a stripey trim. Yep, so nice. I wonder how much time I would cut off this project if I stopped screwing up. Things that make you go...HMMM.

Improvisation complete, and not half bad if I do say so myself.

Step Four:
Attach exterior panels to side and bottom panel. Okay, not bad. Stabbed myself with pins a couple times but no blood so it's all good. That's why I very rarely use pins. They have something against me.

OKAY! Exterior is put together. Now I'll cut out the lining and I think I'll attach some fusible fleece to this. The fleece will help it hold its shape. I used a Decor Bond for the exterior fabrics which I'm not real sure about, time will tell. Sometimes Decor Bond doesn't hold up well under regular use. It really stiffens the cotton fabric so when its under a lot stress, the fabric almost crinkles like paper. It's easily flattened with a hot iron but a hassle. I'm not entirely certain that this purse won't end up at the bottom of her closet and Decor Bond was quick and easy. That's what you get when you want something in two days.

Well, I started at noon and it's now 2:20 PM. Hey, for not having a plan and making a ton of stupid mistakes, I'm in a pretty good place. Exterior is done, lining is done and the strap is basted on. All I need to do now is make the zipper panels, insert the zipper and put it all together. It will have to wait til tomorrow since the princess is out of school in 20 minutes! I better get my shoes on and hit the sidewalk!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I'm Baaack! Again!

My, oh my! It's been a while hasn't it? Well, July and August just flew by like my neighbors trash can when Tropical Storm Hermine hit yesterday! To say it's been a stressful couple of months would be putting it very mildly but I'll spare you the sordid details. Let's just say I've been spending my time in a foul pity party and I have decided to put an end to it. We've all had times in our lives where things just seem to compound and you find yourself in the middle of the street on your knees screaming to the heavens..."WHY ME!?!" Right? Oh, come on, right? Okay, well maybe it was just me but it's over. Officially! Kaput! Onward and upward. I have been keeping myself busy, which is saying a lot actually. Normally, when I have my "parties", I disappear under a blanket and a cheesecake. Not this time, I decided to get out into our new community and see what was going on in ole San Antone. Turns out, this place is pretty cool! So much to do... and eat! The different cultural museums, art museums, food, theater, shopping, food. We have a zoo (even though it was ranked the fifth worst in the nation, it's still a zoo), Sea World, Botanical Gardens, Wild Life Ranch, Natural Bridge Caverns, Japanese Tea Garden, and did I mention the FOOD? MmMm, lots of food. Anyway, it's been fun. My daughter and I joined the Arts council in our town and she is having fun taking classes and I will be vending at their Handmade Market Days on September 18 so I've been designing and sewing and even filling some private sewing orders. I've been keeping busy!

I decided to do some sewing for myself this week. I have no business sewing for myself with this show coming up but I did it anyway. I put Heather Bailey's fabric lines, Pop Garden and Bijoux, on sale in the shop so I've been selling out of bolts on a daily basis. I've been keeping the leftovers for myself. I decided to delve into Heather's New Leaf Folding Totes Pattern to use up my bolt ends. It only takes 5/8 yards of two prints and 1/2 a yard of a third and makes a cute, not so little, bag you can take to the grocery store or farmers market to shave that carbon footprint of yours down a bit. They fold down into a small wallet looking contraption that easily fits into your purse. Now, I know you can get the reusable bags at Walmart and other stores for very little money...$.99 I think. So, it's hard to justify making bags when a lot of the cute fabric you like is upwards of $9.50 a yard. But think, while the Walmart blue works and is certainly affordable, don't you want to carry something out of your grocery store with a little more pizazz!? It makes the chicken cutlets taste that much better...really!

God bless Walmart for thinking this one up and God bless you if you've purchased them and use them! It's a fabulous idea and takes countless plastic bags out of our trees and landfills. It's just that, well, Heather's pattern is way cool! And the finished bag is, let's face it, way more fashionable than the Walmart blue. I have no shoes that look good with that bag. This bag, however? I have shoes, jewelry and headbands that match this! Literally! I make it a point to be as cute as possible when traveling to the grocery store. When your job doesn't take you outside of the house, it's important to get yourself together whenever you have the opportunity!

This pattern was very easy and didn't take but an hour to complete from start to finish (for one bag). It also has patterns for a large coupon wallet and a small pouch and even a band that will hold all of your folded totes together. Now, I did make a couple changes to her instructions. I am sure there is a reason why she has you sew the straps right sides together and turn them right side out after you've sewn the seams down both sides. If there is anything I hate most about sewing, it's having to turn things. Hate it! So, I cut a strip wide enough to fold the raw edges in and then fold in half lengthwise and I topstitched down both sides. So much quicker! I also topstitched where she wants you to hand sew the bags turning hole closed. It's a shopping bag, I'm not hand sewing anything! The topstitch looks good and closes the hole. Done! The one thing I noticed is that the pattern cover is a bit misleading. This bag does not stand up on it's own. It has to fold down into itself so, of course, it has to be soft enough to do that. Just thought I'd mention that. I love having the pocket on the outside. I'm always looking for a place to drop the receipt or my keys or that Snickers I just couldn't say no to.

So, fun project, great idea for gift-giving, quick and easy. Yet another homerun by Heather Bailey. Haven't met a pattern of hers I didn't like!