Tuesday, January 24, 2012

September's Bag - Blossom Handbag

 September's bag was the Blossom Handbag/Shoulder bag. I was dreading this bag the most on a skill level, so professional! The little handle bits especially freaked me out. Though I'm happy to say it wasn't really all that bad! I might even consider making this again... it is a really great size for showing off fabrics.

Speaking of fabrics! I chose with the recipient in mind :)
Technically from my stash, though they were recently purchased... the stash is ever growing! I ended up not using the black dot print for the interior as I had intended, I felt it might just be tooo dark. So, I went with a basic cream solid for the dividers and used the pink balloons for the lining. I also used a grey twill for the bottom outside panel.

And here we are complete! On an overcast day! I am really pleased with how it turned out, even the tricky handle bits. I had to watch the print directionality and repeating pattern, I am glad I had had my coffee when I cut into the fabric.

The only irritating moment I had with this pattern was step 17(c) where she wants you to bar tack through 8 layers of fabric, 4 layers of fusible interfacing, and 2 layers of peltex. Now I know my machine is old (ahem, vintage) but Holy Smokes. I ended up having to do that bit by hand, puncturing my poor finger through my thimble. Overall though, not bad!
Next up is the Miss Maven Ruffled Handbag!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

October's Bag - Everything Wristlet - Complete!

Hello Style Stitchers! Since I totally abandoned the challenge back in September I figured it didn't REALLY matter if I posted these in order. The bag that should be posted next is a gift for someone for their birthday... and since we don't want to spoil the surprise we will just come back to that one. 

The Everything Wristlet. This was my least favorite of the designs in the book, just not my style... at all. Not even a little. Oh well, I chose fabrics from my stash and thankfully the yardage was minimal!

I can't tell you what lines any of them are from (sorry!). The blue is a batik and the purple is fantastic.
As I worked the pattern I started to wonder if AB's publisher set her a character limit, a max number of pages and/or illustrations. Or if maybe the lack of instructions/illustrations is what made this pattern "Experienced". I just don't understand why (WHY?!) she couldn't have included more instruction. I read and re-read, then I Googled. I found this series of blog posts that helped immensely, step by step photos! Hurray!
Even with the added instruction I chose to alter the zipper installation. I ultimately went with an un-interfaced cotton pocket instead of the funny fold thing she tried to pull. I will say I worked AB's zipper instructions as in the book, I did. I tried to sew through two layers but not through the back, which sounds just stupid. It looked straight up wonky so I ripped that right out. 

Michael made up a 'Hey Girl' for me the night of the zipper mess.
"Hey Girl. I know that pattern was terribly written, let me buy you a burrito and put on some Breaking Bad to cheer you up." Now, THAT is a good man. :)

So the zipper was done and the next step was sewing the center pockets together. I took my own photo:

So. Much. Fabric. And. Interfacing.
And that very very last step, topstitching around the edge... yeah, didn't do that either. I slipstitched and pressed, called it a day. I think I was just ready to move on, I didn't want to try topstitching then have to rip it out because it was wonky.

 I have to say it's a pretty sweet little bag. The fabrics worked out nicely and the button was a perfect fit!
Alllll that interfacing is what really makes this bag.

I ended up using a dark purple on the card pockets, I got stingy with my ladybug print :). In hindsight I should have used white or picked up something a little closer to the purple in the exterior.

One more down! Three more to go! I am picking up the last bit of interfacing (sigh) today to start on the last two bags. I am staying optimistic!

{ Thanks to everyone for the comments on my last post! The squirrel and kitty were Christmas presents for my brother-in-law and his wife. The pigs and pup were just experimental and will go on the shelf with the rest of the first timers. Someday I might show you all my first sock monkey, he's... cute? funny? had potential? has all the required pieces in the corresponding general area. That's it. }

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What I've Been Up To....

I have been taking myself a little break. A break from being industrious. A break from the sweatshop that I tend to create. I can't really SEE anything when I'm in that mode!

:  I went thrifting (20+ super awesome sweaters/coats).

:  I tried out a few patterns, some with success... some without.

:  I spent many a dollar at our local quilt shop AND online for those hard to come by Japanese prints.

:  I am trying to spend time with family and friends, at least to say Yes as much as possible (there IS a limit to how many times I will watch a Pirates movie). I am fighting my hermit tendencies.

:  I have knocked off two more of the Amy Butler bags for the challenge, separate posts on those of course.

A few projects around the table and on the shelves:


Two little pigs...

One insanely tricky squirrel...

A very handsome cat...

And an onery looking weenie dog.

I am thoroughly enjoying my time off :)