…a young man’s fancy is said to turn to thoughts of love. And older people, maybe gardening! But me, I just want to keep spending quality time with my Janome!
I work alternate weekends. When I have two weekdays off in a row, that’s my weekend! And the first day usually involves housework and errands. Yesterday I did the vacuuming, kitchen and bathrooms and freshened up my coffee table with a different quilt and spring-like accoutrements.
Today I did my 30 minutes of power yoga and got on with some bag-making. This bird pouch is from a tutorial by Handmade Creator on YouTube. I was in two minds about the ‘beak’ and button, as the fabric is quite busy, but did it anyway.
And then I made this envelope style make-up bag from The Stitchin Sisters. Super easy.
These two items are destined for a co-worker who is leaving at the end of May. Guess what her name is! Clue: check out the birds on the fabric!!
When I was a child, our milk came in tetrapaks, which were like little pyramid-shaped cartons. You’d snip off a corner to pour out the milk.
This backpack is the same idea. If you make a tube and sew across one end, then sew across the other end perpendicular to the first seam, you get this shape.
So my bottom seams are perpendicular to my zipper.
I included D rings at every corner for straps, and when worn the unattached top corner folds over the bag. I made sure to keep it all flexible. No interfacing except for a small square at the top corner of each inside pocket. Slip pockets inside.
Well, since my last post, I haven’t been making a whole lot. I went on vacation, on my own, for nine days to visit my family.
Thanks to the lengthy traveling time (three flights in a row, each way) I had only six days to see as much of my mum and sister as possible.
Mum turned 90 and we had a party for her at her house (her first time she’s been home since last September thanks to a health crisis that had her in hospital for 10 weeks and then in a care home). She is hoping to be strong enough to return home, with daily visits from care aides, possibly in April.
The holiday was wonderful.
Beautiful weather, most days.
Incredible birthday cake.
While there, my holiday crochet entailed making three dishcloths of which I didn’t get pictures. I left them at mum’s house to be used.
This morning I finally got back to the sewing room and made a tote bag for hanging up at work. Love this fabric so much.
I have a late shift today but a weekend off to look forward to. The weather is warming up nicely and I’m eagerly anticipating the new leaves and green shoots of spring.
The shawl is growing. I’m only adding a few rows at a time. It does need some attention, partly because of the slippery yarn but also so that I do my yarnovers and KFBs in the right place. But there’s still plenty of plain knitting and it’s pretty enough that it makes you want to put it down and admire it every so often.
Note the orange lifelines in there, just in case.
I’m also playing with a small design in cotton that I’ll show you if it turns out well. And I’ve crocheted a few scrubbies for the kitchen out of netting, though I only do one of those at a time because it’s hard on the hands. No photos as they go straight into the kitchen drawer when they’re done. But I’ve figured out a quick way to make them so I don’t have to reinvent the proverbial wheel each time.
This zippered bag started out with the remnant of blue vinyl. I had to work around a major flaw across the piece so that dictated the size. The blue goes perfectly with the sewing-themed cotton and I had a zipper in just the right shade too.
I had to wash it after I took photos as the Wonder Tape I used to insert the zipper showed on the outside of the bag (probably because I used my walking foot with the needle moved to the left rather than faff about with the zipper foot).
Originally I thought the zipper was going to go across and stick out at each side but after sewing it in I realised the error of my ways (not following a tutorial again) and ended up boxing the top as well as the bottom.
I used one of my empty thread spools to add a hanging decoration to the zipper pull.
And despite a couple of rethinking moments I’m happy with the result.
The new 58″ TV is turning out to be a good buy. The reorganization of the living room has created more open floor space and every morning I play the same 15 minute yoga video to ease me into the day. I’ve watched a series called Hope Street on Britbox and a couple of times now I’ve come home to find Mr Fixit or one of the boys watching something. A TV is a novelty around here; we haven’t had one for years.
I think we’re all caught up now. Hope you have a great week!
This zipper pouch caused a lot of frustration. I used two of the adding machine paper scrap strips. It was all fine and dandy until I realised I had forgotten to remove the paper and had to rip out my stitching AND peel back the fused Thermolam.
Also the top corners looked like crap and I had to figure out what I was doing wrong in that area. I probably should have just gone back and reviewed a tutorial on YouTube but you’d think I would know what I’m doing by now.
Anyway it’s good enough for my own use but I doubt I’d give it as a gift because it still has issues!
This small drawstring bag is for my boss. I used a scrap of vinyl and some quilting cotton from stash. It’s about 10″ tall and has some chocolate inside for her birthday.
Rather than boxing the bottoms the usual way, I did that thing where you fold your fabric in half, right sides together, top edges matching, then push about an inch and a half of the bottom edge up inside then sew the side seams. It makes for a cool detail on the base without the extra step of sewing across the corners and chopping off the triangles to get that 3D bottom.
I just had three days off and my main activity was reading. Why? Well, this came in at the library.
You Outlander fans will understand!
I did get some exercise in too. We went out for a sunny walk on Sunday and on Monday I spent over an hour at the gym in the morning and I was back in the evening for yoga.
Work today so I shall have to put Jamie and Claire aside until this evening!
I’m not quite as desperate to see the summer end as I was a short time ago. We’ve had a week of mid-20s Celsius and it’s been a sweet relief from the heat of the last couple of months.
The local wildfire is still burning but not growing, as far as I know; there is plenty of helicopter activity around here and every time I hear a fire truck siren I worry that there’s a new fire.
We are only allowed limited watering but the cooler nighttime temperatures have helped the garden green up a bit, though Mr Fixit went out this morning to “mow the weeds” rather than grass!
I have this weekend off so took the opportunity to sew myself a lunch tote. I used a tutorial from a YouTube channel, MamaProject, which is new to me. I haven’t done a recessed zipper before but this one was easy.
Because I planned to use this for my work lunches I used Thermolam fusible fleece on the back of the canvas outer, and Insul-fleece on the lining. The base is vinyl backed with Peltex and the lining also has the Insul-fleece on it.
When it came to the final topstitching I didn’t even try to sew through all the layers at the side seams!
The lining is a basic undyed canvas and I added pockets on both sides and made channels for cutlery.
I would make this bag again but without so much padding. I do like the way the recessed zipper is done.
I also have a new knitting PIP (project in progress).
I pulled out my DK yarn stash and weeded out the colours I didn’t want in a cardigan, like yellow, orange and black. As you can see, my half of the coffee table has no room for anything else.
I’m making the Festival Cardigan (link to my Ravelry project page here) using 12.75mm needles and five strands of DK for each square.
With four squares across the back, that means 20 yarns per row which I have corralled into bags, one for each group of five.
I have to do a little untangling at the end of each row but so far I like it! This will be a good stashbuster.
This bag is an amazing design. So much work must have gone into the planning and production. It took me most of the day to make this, about six hours actively sewing plus breaks for food and stuff.
It has two straps so you can wear it as a backpack or shoulder bag, attaching to either the upper or lower D rings.
The fabrics I used were in my stash. Four of them are from one grouping and the orange was from a different range but coordinated well.
The above photos are the finished pockets. There are four zippers in this bag!
Below are the component parts before assembly.
A lot of hardware too!
Considering the fabric, the interfacing (Thermolam and SF101 aren’t cheap), the swivel hooks, D rings and sliders, and the time it took to make, this wouldn’t be a viable product to sell, but I made this for the joy and the challenge so it’s OK!
I have tabs open on my laptop for a couple more Yoan videos so perhaps you’ll see another completed project this weekend.
Often when I get home from a full day on my feet, having lifted myriad bolts of fabric and dealt with lots of people (can you say extroverted introvert?!) I am wiped and all I have the energy for is food, tea, Netflix and bed.
Other days, given the right motivation, I can actually get things done.
One evening to make an apron and a second to make an oven mitt to add to the display.
My hand-dyed yarn crocheted over cotton clothesline.
Just because I love the camper fabric so much!
And another WhitneySews bag from the same tutorial as the cat bag I showed you last time. How adorable is this fabric, with the yarn-bombed trees!
One day, I managed to have a complete sewing room blitz and now everything is tidier and better organized.
I’m working tomorrow but then I have three days off. Ooh, what mischief can I get up to?!
The patchwork tote that I envisaged last week is now a reality. It always feels like free fabric when you piece a lot of scraps together.
I confess I did buy fabric for the lining. The zipper is one of my cheapie ones from an online purchase (they work out at about 35 cents each) and the pink fabric for the pocket lining was in the stash.
I hit a snag after putting it all together. I realised that the large curtain grommets that I planned to use wouldn’t work because of the zipper pocket. I should have placed it lower down.
So a quick purchase of emergency 14mm grommets later, I had my handles sorted.
The beach fabric with the camper vans, surfboards and beach houses has been put to good use in two more bags for the #dodgybagmal2021!
This zipper pouch is bigger than the owl one I talked about a couple of posts ago. I increased the height of the denim base by one inch and did the same with the upper exterior fabric. It made for a more roomy bag but maintained good proportions.
The inside has a couple of extra slip pockets just because.
Rather than piece a patchwork pocket (how’s that for alliteration) I used a single piece of the surfboard fabric and as I had fusible fleece inside I didn’t bother doing any quilting.
The handles are quite narrowly positioned but I wanted to avoid covering certain parts of the print. If I make this bag again, I will definitely add zipper tabs to avoid that pulled in look at the ends. And I would use my best fabric for the pocket as that’s the main feature.