Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Updated Betty Bowler

 A few weeks ago, Swoon Patterns released a new and updated Betty Bowler Bag pattern. I have made this pattern once before for Purse Palooza and enjoyed sewing her up then, but boy do I LOVE this new and improved version!

Betty is a "vintage inspired" oversized bag that is perfect for an overnight trip, a gym bag or even as a diaper bag. She is about 17" wide x 9" tall x 7" deep. The update has swapped out an exterior zip pocket for 4 sleek slip pockets that have piping accents and a curved top that really stand out. 

The heart of Betty remains the same, with the curvy shape and great lines. The zip pocket has been moved to the inside and additional slip pockets could easily be added to the interior for my fellow pocket lovers out there.

There are so many ways to customize this bag and to feature a beloved print to feature on accents, pockets and top and bottom panels. I chose to use this Art Gallery print from Sara Lawson's Jungle Ave line. I have been holding on to this print for over 2 years waiting for the perfect project and I absolutely love it for this bag, it's the perfect mod feel to showcase Betty and her curves. 

I've recently fallen in love with the Glitter Mirror canvas sold by Mikri World Supplies, it's got the looks of regular glitter vinyl but it's so much thinner and easier to work with. My machine goes through several layers of this stuff with ease, and it delivers a knock out finish. 

Although I can get through the canvas with ease, I love the look of riveted handles but I am absolutely hopeless with installing them by hand. I have tried every tutorial possible and I am concluded that the issue is with me. Until I get a press to use, I have been using Chicago screws, which deliver the same look without me messing them up. 

I am super happy with the finish, and I see more Betty Bowlers in my future. This bag looks more complicated than it is, and delivers a very professional looking finish with straightforward and easy to follow directions. If you haven't given Betty a whirl, you should go get your copy here!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Valentine's Dress

Way back last spring I posted about sewing up some Geranium Dresses for our soon to be baby girl. Fast forward a year later and baby girl is here, growing up and a joy to be around. Those old Geranium dresses can't begin to fit around her chubby growing self now. 

A sweet friend of mine sent me a couple of yards of this adorable Riley Blake print, and suggested that I could use it to make a Valentine's dress for E. Oh how right she was! The Geranium Dress, as I discovered before is such a satisfyingly quick sew and you could easily put together a couple of them in an evening.

Considering how sensitive babies can be when it comes to tags and things rubbing on their skin, I had to finish the seams. I have absolutely no idea what this technique is called, it's so not fancy or technical. It involves me press the seam open, then folding one side of the seam down, stitching it down, then repeating the other side. You do see two lines of stitching on the right side of the dress, but it's easy and functions well.

Just for fun I added some pom pom trim around the bottom hem. 

This pattern is quickly becoming a fave! I think I may give one of Rae's women's garments a go next. I do love how the dress is such simple lines but you could easily dress it up with different fabrics and trims. Also, it doesn't get in the way of a baby girl with exploring to do!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Sandra Saddle Bag

Well Hellooo! It's been awhile. My poor neglected blog is still here, and now after the arrival of Miss E 9 months ago, life is finally entering a "new" normal which means I have been slowly able to start sewing again (YAY). This is Sandra, one of the first bags I have sewn since last spring. 

For Christmas, my amazing husband bought me a new machine (a Janome HD3000, which is a whole post in itself, but I adore her). As this machine is a mechanical machine and much more heavy duty, I was able to start playing around with some vinyl.

Using my walking foot (which is a cheapie from Amazon) and remembering not to pin the vinyl, I was very happy with the results of my first vinyl strap!

I can honestly say it was so much less difficult than I imagined. Isn't that how a lot of things are? Much scarier in your head than in real life. 

The pattern is the Sandra Saddle Bag by Swoon Patterns  she was a fairly quick sew, with fairly straight forward directions. I was able to complete it in about an evening. The fabric is an Art Gallery print from the Jungle Ave line by Sara Lawson and the vinyl was from fabric.com. 

Overall, I was happy with the end result, but I am hopeless at reading the finished dimensions of bags and actually translating them to real life terms. I was disappointed in the final size, as Sandra is at best a medium size handbag, and I am forever a big bag lover.

Now that I've finally conquered some of my fears with vinyl, I am anxious to continue to use it in future projects. Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Babies don't keep

Wow, it's been such a long time since I've posted. To be honest, I haven't done a whole lot over the past few months but be pregnant and snuggle this puff of sweetness. I have sewn some here and there and eventually I'll get around to sharing those and sewing on a regular basis again, but for now, babies don't keep. 

Meet Gabrielle "Ellie" Rose, here's a dose of cuteness and my excuse for not getting anything done :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tudor Bag

Have you seen the Tudor Bag by Sew Sweetness?! I was lucky enough to test this awesome "create your own adventure" style handbag a couple months ago. It's a beginner friendly tote style bag, that is chock full of optional features to make it uniquely yours. The finished size is 13.5" L x 12.5" T x 5"D it's a generously sized tote, but not so ginormous it couldn't be used as your everyday bag.

Depending on the features you choose, it's a super quick sew and can easily be done in an afternoon. For those looking for a challenge, add in a recessed zipper closure and extra zip pockets if you fancy.
I'm not a huge fan of zippered closures, only because I hate taking the time to unzip my bag when I want to get into it, so I left that out. The pattern calls for 1 yard of exterior print, but as I wasn't fussy cutting and added more accents in I was able to get mine out of about a 1/2 yard of the exterior print. (But I'm also psycho about conserving fabric when cutting...)

I loved this bag so much that I made a second one for a swap that I participated in, this time in a Cotton and Steel print I thought my partner would like.

This time I added a front slip pocket and omitted the accents along the bottom pieces. Also, I have fallen in love with gold thread! Look at the top stitching in the gold thread!!! I want to use the metallic thread ALL the time now. 


As with ALL of Sara's patterns, this is super easy to follow along with. Even though this bag is rated for a confident beginner, even an advanced bag maker would find it a satisfying with all the customizing that's possible.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mabel Vintage Handbag

Last month I had the pleasure of testing the Mabel Vintage Handbag from Swoon Patterns. Mabel is a darling little handbag that is perfect for a night out, a little girl, bridesmaids gifts or, for a travel cosmetics case.

Mabel is a really quick sew and requires only a yard total of fabric, so she's perfect to use up those smaller cuts in your stash. Since I'm a BIG bag girl, I knew Mabel would make a perfect cosmetic case for me. With that in mind, this Frances Newcombe print was screaming to be used for Mabel.

Mabel was a very quick and satisfying sew, coming together in an afternoon. She calls for a turn lock closure, which I would highly recommend if using this as a handbag, as the closure will be supporting the weight of your bag and the contents. Since, I wasn't planning on using her that way, I opted for a magnetic snap so that I could showcase these lovely ladies on the flap. 

This is a beginner friendly project, even though it calls for a heavy stabilizer (Peltex 71) it's completely out of all seam allowances and none of the seams are bulky to get through. The only place you have to sew over it is when top stitching the flap. Mabel is a darling bag and is available for FREE over at the Pellon website.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Geranium Dresses

Holy Moly how has 2 months passed since I've posted?! Maybe it's the baby brain, or the lack of sleep. Either way, Gah!!!

Although I haven't been posting, I've still been working on projects here and there. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I've still been sewing here and there.

We found out that we will be welcoming a GIRL this spring and that was the green light I needed to start working on some baby projects. I do love to sew for my five year old guy but, I'm so excited to get to sew some ruffles and pink! The first project was the Geranium Dress, which is a free pattern for the 0-3 month size by Made by Rae. It was a super quick sew and required less than a yard of fabric. In fact, I'm fairly confident that I could get the bodice out of one fat quarter.

It was such a quick sew, and oh so satisfying! The seams in the bodice are completely enclosed in the lining which makes me feel all fancy. I did do a some variation of a French Seam on the only seam inside the skirt so all the seams are neatly finished.

I sewed up the first one in a couple hours time (including cutting) and the second in about an hour. Little Miss might end up with a bunch of these by the time we welcome her home.