Friday, December 19, 2014

Another Handbag

I like the blue bag I made recently, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  So while I was in the bag making mood, I got to work on another one.  And I'm very happy with how this one turned out.  It's the right size and shape, and I love the colors and all the pockets.

As with the blue one, I used upholstery samples that were given to me by my niece. I used cream colored suede, brown leather and brown tweed.  For the lining,  I used a piece of medium weight brown cotton that was left over from another project.

I started with this pattern, but changed it quite a bit. 

I've used this pattern a lot as I like the general shape and size.   My finished bag is 10-1/2" tall and 12" wide.  The bottom panel is 4-3/4" wide and the side narrows down to 2" wide at the top.  I put a zippered pocket on each size on the outside (1 small and 1 large) and 1 small one on the inside.

I used a plastic jacket zipper for the opening.  I find these work great as they're strong enough, but light-weight and easy to open.  I use split rings as pulls on all the zippers.  These are inexpensive, come in different sizes, easy to grab hold of and they never fall off.


This was one of those rare projects that goes together quick and easy and turns out as great as you hoped.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas Gifts - Fleece Blankets

I generally sew Christmas gifts for my 9 grandchildren.  Usually it's flannel or fleece pj's - they seem to like those.   This year I decided to make fleece blankets.  I made one for each of my grandchildren, plus one for my husband and a small one for myself.  That's 48 yards of fleece!  I'm probably the only crafter that had never made one of these or even owned one.   Instead of the cut & tie method,  I decided to stitch all the way around the edges and then cut the edges into 1-1/2" wide strips. I didn't tie them,  just left them as fringe.  I think the kids will like them and I'm thrilled that I got them finished early! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fall/Winter Handbag

I made a bag for the Pattern Review "Handbag" contest.

This was my inspiration:


I used this pattern.  It's a free PDF download.

I wanted a  zippered pocket on the back like this:

I started with the free Kennedy bag pattern from Sew Sweetness. This is a great pattern.  It prints out good and the instructions are very through.   Her bag's finished size is 11 x 14  with a 5 inch bottom.  That was little bigger than I wanted plus I wanted mine to be more of a square shape, so I made mine 10.5 x 12.5 with a 4.5 inch bottom.  Even though I like a fairly large handbag, this is still a little bigger than I like.

I used 7 different upholstery samples.  These came from a local fabric store and were given to me by my niece that works there. When they replace them and toss the old ones, she passes some of them on to me.

For the lining, I used a medium weight brown cotton piece that was left over from another project.

I added feet to the bottom;  used split rings for the zipper pulls; and a magnetic snap for the closure.


I added a large outside zippered pocket on the back


Underneath the flap, I added a 5 x 8 inch lined pocket that I use for my cell phone

There's also an inside zippered pocket.

Feet on the bottom

Side panel

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My new sewing machine - a Bernina 1130

Look what I found at the Goodwill:  a Bernina 1130!

in a Horn cabinet

They were both pretty dirty and musty smelling.  But after cleaning and oiling the machine, and a little tension adjustment, it sews perfectly!  The pneumatic lift system isn't working, I think there's a missing part or two.  Hopefully I'll be able to repair that.  They are both scratched and well-used, but I love it.  And I only paid $38.00!!

The manual was with it, and 15 feet and a few bobbins and needles.   I also found the receipt showing the lady bought it in 1986.

I don't have room for it in my tiny sewing room, but I'm sure I'll find some place for it.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Knit Tops

This was an experiment.  I wanted a top with cut-on sleeves, but not so loose as dolman type sleeves.  I started with my often-used altered version of Vogue 1261.  I like how it turned out except I got the end of the sleeves a little too tight.  For contrast,  I used a black knit for the neckband and sleeve bands.


For the 2nd top, out came another often-used pattern, Simplicity 2603.  As per my normal, I used the sleeveless top and added the sleeves from the cardigan.  I made a size medium; added width at the center front and center back to make it loose and drapey; lengthened it by 3 inches; added a pleat to center back; and added 1/4" to the width of the neckband.  I had only a very small piece of the brown and red print that I used for the front, so I used a solid brown knit for the back, sleeves and neckband.  Instead of hemming the sleeves, I added a 1" band.

I believe the fabrics for both of these tops came from WalMart several years ago when they were getting some decent knits.   I like both of my tops and I'm sure I'll wear these a lot.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Kimono - Simplicity 1318

I finished one of the items on my fall sewing list: a silk kimono.  

I used a poly shantung that I got on clearance at Joann Fabrics for $3.50 yard.  The 4" fringe also came from Joann's.  I used 2-1/2 yards of fabric and 2 yards of fringe.  Total cost for supplies (including the pattern) was around $20.00.

I made a size medium,  and the only change I made was to leave off the sleeve bands.

Here's the back:

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Throw Cushions

I finished one of the items on my list of craft type sewing projects.  These are throw cushions for the couch in my sitting room. This was a really simple project, and I love how they turned out. This pretty fabric came from Joann Fabrics.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

More Sewing Plans

I haven't make anything from my last post and already have more plans.

A casual mixed media jacket

A long plaid shirt:

A fringed kimono

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fall Sewing Plans

I'm working up a plan of some things I'd like to sew for fall.  I want to concentrate on basics and things I really wear in my everyday life.  And to sew from my stash.  I think I already have patterns that will work for all of these.
I like to wear long sleeve tees because they are so comfortable, but they look too plain and casual.  So I thought I'd make a simple vest similar to this to wear over them.  Although I will probably make it in a print since most of my tees are solids - plus I love prints.

I like this plaid flannel shirt that's a little different due to the bottom cut on the bias.

Since I already have this McCall's pattern, I'll use it.

I'll use my TNT knit top for this black and gray knit top, with lace front overlay.

 A white button up shirt that's a little different.  I'll probably make the sleeves longer.
 I'm not sure how to do the pleats.   I do like the black and white buttons.

Now to get started!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Tee Shirt Contest

I'm participating in a contest on Pattern Review that runs through August.  The contest is called "TNT Tee".  The important component of this contest is the fit of the tops.  The only requirement is to use one pattern to make at least 4 knit tops.  The pattern may be modified as to neck and sleeve styles and length and shape of the body.

I'm using Vogue 1861, which in now out-of-print. I started with a size large (as I wanted loose fit).  Fit alterations I made are:  narrowed and lowered the neckline (front & back); removed 1 inch from shoulder width; and lowered the armhole 1/2".   I had an issue with the sleeves not hanging correctly, so I rotated the sleeves toward the back and added a little to the back shoulder length. Now this is my TNT basic knit top pattern.

TOP #1

I added 3 inches to the length and added a little to the side seams to get more drape.  The fabric is a poly/spandex ITY jersey I purchased several years ago from Fabric Mart. Hems were finished using my coverstitch machine. I had trouble with tunneling that I worked out by the time I finished.  Neckline was bound, turned to inside and double-stitched.  This one is 1/2" wide; all the others I used 1". I decided the back neckline is a little low on this one, so I raised it up for the other tops.

TOP #2

This top is the same size and shape as Top #1, but I used raglan sleeves.  The floral fabric is a  ITY jersey that I got at Fabric Mart several years.  I used a solid black poly/lycra ITY jersey that I recently got from Fabric.com  I added a 1" neck band and sleeve bands from the same black fabric. I love both of these fabrics and very happy with how this top turned out.

TOP #3

This one is a basic loose fitting tee shirt, and since it's black, I'm sure I'll wear it a lot.  The fabric is a textured, light weight poly/lycra.   I made it a couple inches shorter and less full; and also straightened the hem by shortening the side hem points.   I added a 1" wide neckband using this method:  neckline-binding-for-knits by Sarah Veblen.  Since finding this, it's my favorite way to do the neckline on knit tops.

TOP #4

This is made exactly like the black one (top #3).  The fabric is a light-weight cream colored lacy look knit.  I paid $3.00 yard for it, and this is the 2nd top I've made from it.  I got it last year at Zinck's fabrics in Berlin, Ohio.  zincksfabric.com.  This is a no-frills fabric outlet in a warehouse type metal building.  It has inexpensive fabrics and a few notions and quilt batting.  A fun place to shop!

I'm happy with all four tops and plan to make a couple more for winter - maybe a cowl neck and a lace one.