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Friday, August 15, 2014

Chandelier Swing Bag

Monthly bag from Big City Bags time!!
This month's bag in the Chandelier Swing Bag and I am happy to report that it turned out much better than last month's disappointing Lucky Denver Mint. This bag's only real drawback is that it's so tiny! I'm not usually a small bag girl. I have to carry a wallet, keys, phone...and of course juice boxes, snacks, antibacterial wipes, hotwheels, I like a big bag!

But I couldn't resist giving this bag a chance. It's actually really cute. I didn't think I like that tiny strap, but it's my favorite part. Makes me feel young and carefree again. It's just the right size for money, phone, and keys. I may never need a bag like this and will probably be gifting it a young niece soon, but it sewed together well and I love how the fabrics I chose came together. An overall success! I'm going to try to make another one, since I have 2 young nieces and the monthly prize at the Sewing with Squeak SAL is some Japanese fabric, which I LUVS!!! It's never to late too join in if you're interested in making some fun bags. Next month's bag scares me already....uses lots of bias arch enemy returns! I will not be deterred though!

I've also been making some fun stuff for some swaps, but can't show those off yet. Until then, here's the Chandelier Swing in pics...

Hanging on the porch, front view

Hanging on the porch back view

Inside view, used Domino Dots!!! I love this print. 

Zipper panel, had to add a zipper pull, it's a tight squeeze in there. 

Little better front view of the tiniest pleats I've ever seen. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pattern Repeats!

There are few things more wonderful than finding a pattern you really love. Too often I love a pattern, but I get so wrapped up in doing the next new thing that I neglect my previously used patterns. This summer however, I have found great use from my neon green poolside toteI've used it so much that I decided I needed another one! 

I found this pretty turquoise linen and plaid at my local Zincks...if you don't have one of these by you...I'm sorry. It's a fabric outlet and it's pretty amazing. Lots of nice blenders and solids...and the occasional discontinued diamond in the rough. I'm not allowed to go there with a credit only per this guy...

My silly husband popped in while I was working on my Poolside tote and asked if I was making a shirt. Compete with plaid suspenders, classssssyyy! Actually, he tolerates my sewing obsession pretty well and I love him and his silliness tons.

When I got around to finishing the tote, it looked like this- I lined it with Alexander Henry's Wild Cherry, which is one of my all time favorite prints. This tote screams summer and I absolutely love it.

Turq Poolside tote front view
Turq Poolside tote back

Turq Poolside Inside...Wild Cherry!!!
This tote has been hauling towels and bathing suits all over Northern Indiana this year. It's also been to the library, the zoo, and a few garage sales. Can't go wrong with a great big tote. Check out the pattern over at Noodle-head. I love a project that can be started and finished in one day. I see some more poolside totes in my future...Christmas gifts maybe?
Linking up to Anything Goes Monday which is being hosted by Paula of The Sassy Quilter this week! Check out all the goodness for more inspiration. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Not-So-Lucky Denver Mint Bag

This month's bag for the Big City Bags SAL over at Sewing with Squeak is the Lucky Denver Mint Bag. I was really excited about this bag and found some fab butterfly print that had been hiding in my stash for ages. I paired it with some gray fat quarters that I intended to piece together and got to work.

Well here it is standing up, which is how I had pictured myself carrying it.

See the problem? These handles are ridiculously short. The pattern calls for them to be 24" long. I pieced them together, but they were 24" total when I was finished. They need to be more like 28-30". So I am quite disappointed, but I thought maybe it could be salvaged because the bag is designed to fold down on it's self, thus making your handles a little longer like this.

And I have to admit, it's pretty cute like this...hanging on a hook anyways. As for functionality, not so great. The top does not stay down while you're using the bag. There is nothing (snap, turn lock, whatever) to hold the top down. I had to try it out for a few days to see how it worked. It didn't work well at all. The top keeps flopping up, making the handles hard to grasp and the the interior is quite deep with only 2 tiny patch pockets to help organize way at the bottom of the bag.

You can hardly see them way down at the bottom, plus they are really small and again, lack functionality. This bag feels very similar to the Bye Bye Love pattern that Sara Lawson released with the Bag of the Month Club, but that pattern is much better. I suppose I could unpick my straps and add more pieces to them if I really want to save the project. I don't know if I'll do that or not. This bag is just not a favorite, despite the adorable fabric that I think looks really nice with the gray pieces. So I'll be linking up to the SAL and hanging this one in my sewing room as a "maybe I'll fix that someday project". I do like the Bye Bye Love pattern and will use that one in the future if I'm looking for a similar bag. It's just a better design. I wouldn't call this project an epic fail, but not-so-lucky seems appropriate. I'm anxious to see what the other sewists thought about the pattern.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Triangle quilt fnished!

After months of sitting in the WIP pile, the triangle quilt is finally finished! Wo-hoo!!!
I was debating forever on how to back this quilt and the whole thing came to a stand still while I was trying to decide what to do. Along came the organization bug and I found the most fabulous fuzzy, minky, fleece in my stash! When did I buy this stuff? I don't even remember. I don't remember why I would have bought it either, especially since it's orange and I don't usually care for orange much. All that being said, I had 2 yards of this extra wide stuff and it was the perfect backing for this colorful quilt! Hooray!

I love this quilt now. It's warm, colorful, fun, and simple quilting made it pretty easy to finish. I made this quilt intending to put it in my sewing room. I have a spare bed in there that currently has a hideous old comforter on it, but my children have fallen in love with this quilt too.

I used the orange/pink and blue/green diamond swirls from the quilt as binding. I put the blue/green on the orangish side of the quilt and the orange/pink on the bluish side. It looks pretty good. I'm quite pleased, especially since this is only my second completed quilt.

More to come I hope....never realized how much of a commitment a quilt really is. From the initial design to the last hand stitch...whew! I'm hoping to get some better pictures soon. The shadows were a menace this morning, but I didn't want to miss the link up for the triangle quilt-a-long over at the Sassy Quilter

Here's a better full-frontal and backside view. Plus a close up of a mitered corner (so proud!) Thank you Craftsy!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Midtown Messenger Bag

I finally got around to making an April bag from the Bag of the Month Club. It's a messenger bag designed by Betz White. I wasn't really excited about this pattern when I first saw it, but I wanted to give it a try anyway. I really like the finished bag.

I used some vintage linen/cotton blend that features old tickets and advertisements. It's a very fun print. I combined it with my new favorite, Just My Type, line from Michael Miller fabrics. I like how the red really contrasts and pops against the mild colors from the other print. The pattern is pretty easy to follow....expect for one error that I made. When it came time to flip the bag right side out (so this is at the end of the project)....sigh, my zipper panel was upside down!!! Upside down!?!?!? How did that happen? Well, the pattern uses drawn pictures rather than actual photos of the construction. So, when it came time to put the zipper panel together, I thought the zipper was face down. Turns out, it was supposed to be face up. Fortunately, I could simply undo the panels and flip the zipper, then resew. It was a little awkward to get through the machine, but certainly doable. Just another reason I always prefer actual photos to sketches of drawings in patterns.

My messenger...not sure what I'm going to do with bag, since it's really not "my style" but it looks cute hanging in my sewing room for the moment.

Front flap, really wish I would have fussy cut this piece, but I never can figure out how things go together until I do it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Michael Miller MQG Fabric Challenge Sping Sling

I finally finished my MQG Michael Miller fabric challenge! After several failed ideas, a sweet little bag pattern called the Spring Sling landed in my inbox. It's designed by Janelle MacKay of Emmaline Bags
Her patterns are amazing-  innovative, fun, and easy to follow. Once I saw this pattern, I knew I could salvage my MQG challenge aspirations! I had very neutral feelings about the challenge fabric, Petal Pinwheels. It's just not something I would pick out on my own. However, I adore the Just My Type print that released around the same time. I had been wanting to make something using both of these fabrics, but my previous attempts are all just WIPs that will honestly never be touched again. The Spring Sling was a great success though! I love it!

Spring Sling front patchwork of HST

The pattern is well written, except for the minor error that the cutting directions call for one pocket piece when you actually need 4 pieces. Also, you need 2 zipper tabs and it tells you to cut only one. I was quite confused when I went to make the pocket and only had one piece to work with! Thankfully, I had enough fabric leftover to make it all work.

The HSTs took a little while to cut and piece together, but they make an adorable patchwork for the front. The bag is then put together like a quilt sandwich using the exterior, soft and stable, and the lining. All quilted however you like, add the gussets, and bind it together. It has a fun turn lock and grommets. The use of the grommets is really cool. The strap extenders sneak through them as they lay on the top of the bag. The zippered pocket is really smart too. It's made more like a zipper pouch then sewn onto the lining.

Top open, zippered pocket and straps through grommets

I'm also proud to say I conquered my fear of the bias binding! The curves on the gusset of the bag are tricky and I was cringing at the thought of binding them up, but it all worked out perfect. So happy!!! I really love this pattern and the finished bag. I'm already cutting into some Dreamin' Vintage for the next Spring Sling.

Another front view

Top flap open

Back view, this print is "Letterpress" from the Just My Type line for Michael Miller Fabrics

Another inside view

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Welcome Bella and Olivia to the Bubblegum family!

I have been quite busy the last few weeks, but I finally managed to finish my Bella bag and Olivia bag from Chris W Designs

These patterns are my first from Christine, and they did not disappoint. I would say the Olivia is a little more advanced and I have to admit those front pockets had me scratching my head several times. I always print my patterns in black and white and I just couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do to make those pockets look right. Once I referenced the color pictures on line, it made more sense. They were just "fiddly". Fiddly is a new word in our house. I recently had to explain what it meant to my husband when he asked how I could be working on my bag for several hours and only have one pocket made. I said, this pattern is  "fiddly". And he replied with a confused stare. So now, he knows what fiddly means and although the Olivia has some fiddly spots, it was well worth the effort. I love the finished bag. I love this print (which I found in my stash from probably 3 years ago) I love the lining. I love the patch  zipper pocket inside (how cool is that idea??!?!?) It's a great size too, a new favorite. The only modification I made was to omit the rivets. Chris seems to really like rivets. I see them featured in a lot of her bags. I'm just not a big fan. I love the other metal hardware on Olivia though. The little rings are a great eye-catching feature.

My nieces were kind enough to help me with some photos for Christine's photo contest that is going on now. She was looking for photos of her bags with people for a better reference of size, etc... Hannah served as my model and Rachel was the photographer. They are only 17 and 12 respectively, but look at the great job they did!I take notoriously awful photos, so I feel very lucky to have a budding photographer in the family. Here are Rachel's photos of Olivia....

 And my awful photos of the back and inside.

 The Bella bag went together much quicker. It's more intermediate and super cute. I love the big patch pocket featured on the front. Bella uses grommets, which I have never installed and they tripped me up a little. Mostly because I couldn't find any locally! I had to order from an etsy shop in China. I was so afraid they wouldn't get here in time, but they showed up with a few days to spare. I'm quite fond of them now. It's a nice professional touch that I don't see a lot of other designers using. I also like the "clank-clank" noise they make against the handle hardware. It really is the little things in the world that make me smile.

Here are Rachel's pics of Bella...

And my sad shots of the back and inside. As you can see, I loved this one so much, I'm already using it. It's not a huge bag, but holds plenty. I will be making this one again soon. I ordered extra grommets so I'll be ready!

So I'm just left to choose my entries for the photo contest and then I can move on to my next project. I have one other ChrisWDesigns pattern from the Bag of the Month Club. I may have to try that one next. I found her pictures and instructions to be clear and well written. Her designs are fun and unique too, I may even try some rivets.

Linking up to Show Off Saturday

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