Aug 27 2008

my tanglewood bag

Published by under amy's head,crafty,photos

Well, that was a quick sewing goal accomplished! The bag went very quickly with only 1 place where I had to stop and scratch my head. (Not doing the patchwork = EASY bag!) I think it took maybe 4 hours to sew all together, including cutting out.

I was going to wait until I could take prettier pictures of it, but oh well. iPhone photos below! Once again, the pattern can be purchased here.

I used the material I had left over from Jocelyn’s sundress. I did buy a new walking foot for my machine, and I must say, I wish I had bought one of these things YEARS ago. Sewing machines have this jagged little thingee that comes up from the bottom and “feeds” the material through — called the feed dog. If you have several layers however, the feed dog only pushes the bottom through and the top layer can go through at a slower speed than the bottom layer causing some wonkiness. A walking foot feeds the top side of the material through so there’s no wonkiness. This will be VERY handy on the satin binding of the baby blankets I make from time to time!

The only real question I had was the bias tape binding for the top edging and handle. The pattern calls for 1″ double folded bias tape. First of all, the tape I was looking at didn’t come in 1″ wide, only 7/8″ wide. And second of all, it looked much too wide. But, I bought some anyway and took it home. When it came to the binding/handles/tape part though, I still wasn’t quite sure. I had some 1/2″ tape on hand so I used that, which looked VERY nice. When I was pinning it on for the handles, it struck me that it would make very flimsy handles/straps. So I ended up taking the 7/8″ bias tape and folding it over – this made for a VERY thick binding/straps (my machine complained a little) but the end result is very satisfactory – nice thick handles to hang on to.

I love this bag SO much. I think it would be especially cute to do a little hand quilting on it – outline a flower or two, maybe sew on a few beads. That’s the kind of time-consuming hand work that I am not good at finishing though, so I doubt it will happen.

I definitely think I’ll be making another one of these. Or two. Or three!


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Aug 22 2008

Jocelyn’s Baby Quilt

Not a quilt for a baby, but a quilt made out of baby clothes.

Although actually, it’s more like made out of toddler clothes.

Except no, it’s not just clothes, it’s her adorable DRESSES!

I should really call it Jocelyn’s Toddler Dress Quilt.

So, just to warn you guys, this is a sewing post. But there are also pictures, so you can just glaze over the SEWING words and look at the pictures – sure, they’re of quilts, but there’s also a blurry one of Jocelyn wielding a naked barbie doll, so don’t skip!

I’ve been stockpiling the sweet little summer sundresses as she grows out of them with the intention of making a quilt out of them for her some day. I first discussed this here. Now, we’re talking about a myriad of patterns and colors and even fabric weight (though I’m trying to keep it to just wovens, no knits) so when I do make this quilt it will be quite a task to meld it all together.

So, a few items have caught my fancy in the last month or so, and I wanted to make a note of them so that when that Quilt-Making Day DOES arrive, I’ll have some ideas to draw on.

This Denyse Schmidt “Single Girl” quilt looks adorable, but I don’t think it would showcase each fabric enough. I want to be able to look at each fabric and remember my little girl WEARING it.

If I was making the quilt today, I would have to go with a coin quilt. Here’s Hillary’s blogiversary quilt from Wee Wonderfuls that jump-started that idea. The white base color frames each fabric beautifully.

I wonder if I have enough dress fabric for this yet? I think I definitely will once she outgrows this summer’s clothes.

Which will be in about TWO MINUTES!

(All they can talk about every time I drop her off in her new classroom is, “She’s HOW old? Wow, she is TALL. Look how TALL. She looks like she’s FIVE, because she’s SO TALL, TALL, THE TALLNESS, I MUST COMMENT ONCE MORE ON THE TAAAAAALLL.” — I get it. She’s tall. We have spawned a tall amazonian girl-child. Shuddup already.)

I am all itchy to sew something. I sewed a sweet little sundress for Jocelyn which she has not allowed me to take a picture of (here’s one I got where she is RUNNING AWAY IN PROTEST, wielding a naked Barbie doll. “Don’t take my picture! I have a naked Barbie, and I’m NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!)

jocelyn's shirred summer dress

I SHIRRED! It was lovely fun, the shirring! When I finally got it to work! If you don’t know what shirring is, it’s sewing with elastic thread in the bobbin which makes the material get all stretchy and lovely – the top half of that dress = shirred. I got the motivation and know-how for it over at Portabello Pixie (the Shir Madness! Tutorial is down the side of her sidebar).

But that was months ago, and I want to sew something NEW! Something FOR ME!!

Look! It even says it’s FOR ME!!

I bought Alicia Paulson’s Tanglewood Bag pattern the instant she put it up for sale in her shop, but not the fabric kit, and have been hung up on fabric.

For ease of use, I thought, “I don’t HAVE to cut 48 2″ squares… I could just make the pattern with a solid fabric and not do the patchwork thing…” Which, let’s face it, is an EXCELLENT idea because I’m bound to mess something up and messing up on a 48 pieced 2″ squares will definitely make me cry, and so I could make the solid purse kind of my trial run before a “final” version, and also? I still have PLENTY of material left over from the blurry shirred dress up there — but even that sort of lazy talk didn’t motivate me into actually sitting down and doing it. I may pitch in the fickle towel and just MAKE IT ALREADY.

So this bag is my goal for the next week. Sewing. WOOOO!

-amy. lazy, fickle AMY.

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