Friday, July 11, 2014

What's your favorite bag?

I love sewing bags. They are practical, fun, easy to customize and relatively quickish projects. I've sewn so many bags but there are a few that are my tried and true favorites. They are my favorites because of the features and the end result of the bag.

This is my all time favorite bag pattern. It is somewhat more labor intensive than the others because this bag packs a Ron of features. I carried my first Lapin Noir to death. There are so many pockets and compartments it makes someone as unorganized as me seem put together. There is a cell phone pocket on the front, which means no digging through your bag to find your phone.

This bag is found in the book Sew Serendipity Bags by Kay Whitt. It's not available as a stand alone pattern but this book is totally worth this bag alone. It's a nice mid size handbag that has the addition of grommets. The grommets make a statement themselves but this bag is such a quick and easy sew. It doesn't have as many features as some of the other bags but the shape and look of the bag is classic.

This bag is actually a free tutorial on the Sweet Verbena site and was my introduction into sewing zippered bags. This bag is an incredibly quick sew and is a wonderful size for a pool tote or overnight bag. This bag is less structured than I normally like, but it totally works for this bag. It's made with a series of squares and rectangles and you can make a fairly large bag with a relatively small amount of fabric. If you can sew a zippered pouch (or even if you can't, you can make this bag).

This is THE ultimate wallet. I've made several and the wallet looks much more complicated than it is. It can hold an incredible amount of stuff and the shape of the bag is just gorgeous. I've made so many of these and everyone I have given one too is in love with the features of this wallet as well. This wallet was my first introduction into twist locks and I love them so much now!

This is another go to bag for me. I love everything about it. It is such a quick sew and there are different pocket variations included with the pattern so you can completely customize it to suit you. This is a medium sized hand bag but with all kinds of pocket variations, this bag can hold a lot more than it seems. This bag introduced me to sewing zippered pockets and the pattern is very easy to follow, even if you've never sewn a bag.

I've made several of these now, and I absolutely love the way they come together. The addition of front accent pieces really make the exterior pop and it's another bag that has a classic look. It's a largish handbag but would also work well as a small diaper bag. 

Ok, so I've only made one of these bags but it is such an awesome, awesome bag. There is a lot of hardware involved in this bag (which can be somewhat intimidating to those who haven't used a lot before), but it's all really, really doable. I promise! This is another bag that uses grommets, both functionally and as a design feature. This was the first time I have used eyelets and the process was really, really simple (no cursing at all). I can also say that this was maybe the ONLY bag I've ever made that I haven't had to use the seam ripper the first time I sewed it (which is typically a reflection of me more than the instructions...I'm really dense sometimes). 

Although these are my favorite patterns, there are many more out there from these  incredibly talented designers. I've sewn almost every one of the bags by Sew Sweetness and you seriously can not go wrong with buying any of her patterns. I've also sewed several Emmaline Bags as well and they are all incredibly wonderfully written as well.

I love finding new bag patterns and designers and would love to hear what some of your favorites are. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Lady Skater

 Yay! I made a dress, but before I get any further let me apologize for a few things:

1) I am NOT a model and I look hopelessly awkward in most photos 
2) Nope, those aren't white stockings...those are my incredibly pale legs (thanks to my Polish/Irish grandmother for that
3) We snuck out at work to get these photos and for whatever reason we ended up with more stupid poses than decent shots of the dress. Oops.

A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to win 2 yards of organic jersey knit from Fabric Worm. I'm far from an expert with knits and aside from a few cardigans and a Lisette dress, I don't do much in the way of making clothes for myself. So this lovely jersey came right out of the washing machine and then sat on my shelf untouched. 

A couple of weeks ago, I ran across the Lady Skater Dress by Kitchy Coo on sale for five dollars. Yup, FIVE dollars. And guess how much fabric it calls for? 2 yards, so it was totally meant to be. 

It was a super quick sew and the sizing is pretty spot on. I did have some difficulty getting all the pieces cut from the two yards, even though I swore I followed the cutting directions (one day I will learn to follow directions). I ended up having to piece the back portion of the skirt together, so there is an extra seam in the back, but you really shouldn't be staring long enough at my tush to notice that anyway. 

The dress is super comfy and more flattering than I thought it would be. I purposefully cut the skirt one size larger and gathered it a bit in the front. It seemed a good idea at 2 a.m. anyways.

I'm seriously shocked at how quickly and easily it came together. I ended up winging the last few steps, only because it was late and I tend to not follow directions well when I'm tired. Luckily it ended up looking like it should, so I'm guessing I did what I was supposed to. I think I'll be making this one again, but I think I will lengthen the skirt and do a sleeveless dress.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Totes Ma Totes

I think every bag I sew is my new favorite bag, until I sew another. However, I am seriously in looove with totes ma tote and I don't think that is changing for a while. I had been swooning over this bag since I saw Janelle's version in Jungle Avenue, so when she asked me if I would test for her, I was honored and super excited.

This bag has grommets y'all. Grommets. I heart grommets. 

Have you seen these oval grommets from Janelle's shop?! I want to add them to everything! She has some of the best bag hardware, from rings to zipper pulls, it's all sorts of awesomeness. 

This tote is seriously such a fun sew and it's super functional. It has a recessed zip closure, a zippered interior pocket, a divided slip pocket and a pocket secured with a magnetic snap. I am a pocket lover, so these make me so very happy. 

Did I mention it has grommets?

I love the buckle straps, and the addition of the eyelets. This was my first time using eyelets and I was a bit scared but it was relatively painless (once I followed the directions that came with my pliers).

The hardest part of this bag was finding the darn buckles. Seriously. Apparently the JoAnn closest to me doesn't carry buckles. Not a single one. I call shenanigans.

 Janelle recommends using Soft and Stable on the exterior of the bag and Shape Flex 101 for the majority of the other pieces. For the exterior, I substituted headliner fabric and added shape flex before basting it on. The headliner fabric isn't quite as forgiving as the S&S and can wrinkle up the pieces but I've found that a layer of SF101 can take care of that problem. For most of the other pieces, I used decor bond 809, as I like a very structured bag. 

The side panels have a fun contrast strip: 

As much as I wanted to keep this one for me, it was perfect for our wonderful sitter who just had a birthday, but luckily I ordered another set of grommets :)

Go get your copy at Emmaline Bags! She also carries all the hardware in her shop...even the grommets. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Frolic with Fabric Spot Challenge

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I'm so excited to have participated in the Frolic with Fabric Spot Challenge at Thread Riding Hood. This was so much fun,  and these prints?! The cuteness factor is off the charts. For this challenge, Fabric Spot generously sent me a fat quarter bundle of the blue prints from the Frolic line. I was allowed to use these 6 FQs and NO other fabric. Only having these 6 FQs was a little bit intimidating to me at first.

I knew that I  wanted to make a bag, but obviously had to think on a much smaller scale. I decided to  make a cross body bag that could serve as a small bag that could fit the essentials every mom needs (diapers, wipes, bottle and paci), because who wants to lug around a huge bag everywhere? I used the Brookfield bag pattern by Sew Sweetness, as it is the perfect size for a "mini" diaper bag. Get your copy here.

The interior pockets are secured with elastic so it is just the right size to stash a travel wipes container and a couple diapers.

As I was trying to conserve my fabric, I opted for store bought piping and nylon webbing for the handles.

I also used iron on vinyl to fuse to the fabric to make a mini "wet bag" that also attaches to the bag in case of any of those unfortunate moments that us moms know always happen at the worst possible time. I made up a quick elephant applique and put in on an exterior panel before adding the vinyl.

I lined the interior with vinyl as well.

P.S. please add tissue paper if you attempt to turn two pieces of vinyl right side is not for the faint of heart. 

I also wanted to make a stuffed animal to go with the bags, and I went back and forth between making an elephant or a whale. How about a whale with elephant fabric? How cute is this guy?!

I knew I wanted to try and use every last scrap of these awesome fabrics, so I put together a couple of fabric trays. I didn't have enough to for the large tray in one piece, so I made it a crazy quilted piece. Who doesn't need more fabric trays and baskets?! I used Noodle Head's fabric tray tutorial for these. 

Please go check the other challengers over at Thread Riding Hood and see what awesomeness they whipped up! Thanks again to Thread Riding hood for hosting this challenge and to Fabric Spot for sponsoring, this was a ton of fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Run Jump Hop Skip Blog Tour

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Hello There! For those of you stopping by from the Run Jump Hop Skip Tour from Stitch it Now, I'm Cyndi and I blog over at The Nosy Pepper. I have always had a passion for fine arts, but I found a love for textiles a few years ago and caught the sewing bug. I'm a self taught sewist and I spend a lot of time bag making, but dabble a little in everything. I have an amazing almost five year old boy who loves for me to make him clothing and "stuff". I know that this will change soon, so I'm trying to enjoy it while I can! I'm so glad you stopped by, and would love for you to have a look around my little corner of the crafty world. I'd love it if yo you would follow on your favorite social media :)

To those of you who are unfamiliar with Stitch it Now, it's a blog and shop by Debbie Cameron. She developed her concept of ready to sew kits and patterns for children's clothes after raising her two boys and realizing how hard it can be to squeeze in that sewing time when you have small children. In her shop you can order a kit and it arrives already to sew, no pattern printing, cutting, or pattern prep. You just order the size you wish to sew and when it arrives you are ready to sew straight away! If you loathe the prep work like me, this is such a fantastic time and sanity saver! 

The Run Jump Hop Skip shorts/pants is the first pattern Debbie is releasing as a stand alone PDF. The pattern is for sizes 1-10 (no size 9) drafted to Australian sizes (so be sure to check your child's measurements!). They are designed to fit comfortably right below the waist, so your child isn't constantly yanking them up or down. My guy is always yanking his pants lower, so this was a perfect pattern for him! They feature a faux fly and elastic waist, so there is no fuss getting them off or on, perfect for toddlers learning how to dress themselves or older kids who don't want to be bothered by a zip and fly. There are pockets on the front and back and it's a perfect pattern for any bottom weight fabrics. The pattern has cutting guides for shorts as well, this is truly a versatile pattern that would be a great addition to your pattern library, you won't want to make just one pair! 

For my pants, I made a size 5 out of a camel corduroy from JoAnn. I found the fabric on sale for 2.50 a yard in the clearance rack...score!  Although I purchased 1.5 yards as the pattern suggests, I still had at least a third of a yard left over, so I could have easily gotten two pairs of shorts from that fabric.  As pattern testers we gave that feedback to Deb so she could alter her fabric requirement chart accordingly.  My son has waist that is somewhere between a 4-5 and super long legs, so a five was perfect for him. I usually have to add length anyway when I make him pants. Had I not left the extra length in, these would have fit him perfectly.

I love Debbie's suggestions about adding detailing to the back pockets...I couldn't get my model to hold still for very long but I did use a decorative stitch across them. I think I want to do that on every pair of pants I make now!

As you can see, I purposefully left these long. It's staying around the 90 degree mark here and the humidity is enough to make you long for a cold beverage and a pool. Considering that, I don't think he will be wearing these pants any time soon. My hope is that they will work for him when he starts school in the fall. If they are still long then, I'll hem them again. I'd rather them be too long than for him to end up in capris ;)


These pants came together super quickly! I did all my cutting and sewing in a few hours one evening. It would have been less had I been more confident about the faux fly. I had attempted it a few times in the past but it had never really clicked with me and I usually gave up. Debbie's pattern just made it click for me, and after only a couple incidents of quadruple checking (and no seam ripper...woohoo) I had it done. For my next pair I think that the only changes I will make is to maybe bring the hips in a bit and top stitch the back pockets.

The pattern comes with oodles of helpful tips and for those of you who like checklists, there is a checklist that you can follow with corresponding page numbers as you work through the pattern. It's picture heavy for us visual learners, so a confident beginner could easily tackle this pattern. The results are fantastic and I couldn't be happier at how they turned out. I'm now off to make some shorts. 

Photobombed by the dog

To find out how to purchase your own pair of Run Jump Hop Skip Shorts/Pants be sure to visit Stitch it Now’s post of the pattern release . While you are there make sure you find out how to enter the giveaway, of course there’s a giveaway!  There’s a chance to win your own copy of the pattern, a fabric gift card or your choice of either boy or girl inspired Japanese Echino fabrics. Goodluck!  photo 92050c1f-07eb-4b59-92b7-d2175f6055ed_zpsa8b03590.jpg