Tag Archives: totebags

Smoked out

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Smoked out

Our valley has been full of smoke the last few days. We haven’t had many local fires this year, but we have been experiencing very poor air quality from smoke coming up from Washington/Oregon. Whilst I’m grateful we are not directly threatened by the fires, I am disappointed that the cool, clear, possibly even damp days of fall have not so far materialised.

For about three days we kept the windows closed and it was too warm and very stuffy inside. I tried running the furnace fan one day to see if it helped, but it didn’t. As soon as I could see a slight thinning of the smoke layer, I threw open the windows again.

So let’s see, what crafty progress have I made? The Habitat Cardigan hasn’t changed much from the progress photo at the end of August. The collar has been added to, but then it languished again as I went into manic sewing mode.

I am very pleased with the bags I made this week.

This is my Pumpkin Bag. The materials are a pink wool-like fabric, that’s actually wool-free – it may be a poly/rayon blend, I don’t remember – curtain grommets from the place where I work, and lots and lots of scraps. The pumpkin applique is made from lots of strips of quilting cotton, overlapped and zigzagged down to a base of fusible interfacing. I made a rectangle of this “new fabric” then just trimmed it to a pumpkin shape and used one of the offcuts to make the stem.

The lining is also made from scraps, again with the edges un-neatened, overlapped and zigzagged on a base of broadcloth.

This was all done in a single 6-hour sewing session. Lunch was late that day!

Then that evening I started making scrappy squares, sewn onto a backing of quilt batting. I made eight, with each one having a different colour scheme. They became this bag:

For this one, I popped out and bought some new batik fabric for the lining and handles. These photos were taken in my sewing room in artificial light, so they’re not as good as they could be!

That was an intense couple of days!

I’ve also, as usual for this time of year, got the pumpkin bug, and have made a number of fabric pumpkins.

upcycled jeans
quilt cotton and fleece

I made two of those orange fleece ones. The second looked a lot less wonky than the first.

All of the items in this blog post are currently on display at work, just to brighten the place up for a while. And then I’ll bring them home and they can brighten up my place!

FO update

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Hi all. I realised last night that it had been ten days since a post and I have stuff to show you.

One of the staff at work is leaving shortly and I wanted to make her a bag. I found the perfect Canadian wildlife fabric, and had my stash of denim at home, so all I needed to do was find the right design.

I watched this video (atelierRuth’s Partition Tote) a few times and wrote down all the measurements in my notebook. However, before I cut into the wildlife print, I decided to do a trial run with different fabrics in stash. That’s what the bag above is – the practice one. I used a different denim (with stretch, which wasn’t a great idea) and knit-themed fabrics and because I didn’t have webbing or belting I made the straps.

The final result looks great, mostly. I don’t like that the stitching along the straps doesn’t line up with the stitching holding the straps to the bag though. And inside…

…there are slip pockets and a zippered partition with extra denim pockets attached.

I’m so glad I made this version first. When I made the second bag, I knew what I was doing and changed a couple of things. Webbing straps, for one. And Thermolam fusible fleece to give it more squish and structure. And I left the denim off the internal partition, and used Thermolam on that too.

I didn’t spend too long on positioning the fabric but the animals seemed to land just right. The pocket with the Canada geese was fussy cut, though. For the lining, I cut two pieces and seamed along the bottom so that both sides were the right way up, but didn’t bother for the partition.

I much prefer the heavier interfacing for a bag like this, even on the partition – it doesn’t flop around. So that’s all ready to go.

There was also some crocheting this week.

Someone I know (we haven’t met very often, but she’s the friend of a friend) just had a baby girl, so I pulled out some Bernat Pop! from the stash and crocheted up a quick C2C blanket. It didn’t take long and I have bundled it up with a crocheted lovey and beanie which I made a while back and which have been sitting patiently in my sewing room, waiting for the perfect recipient.

On the work front, the store where I work is still busy, but the lineup disappeared more quickly on Thursday, so I feel like the crazy fabric and elastic buying may be calming down! Of course, that is balanced out by the extra work we have on right now thanks to inventory. My main job for my last three days of work has been going through the fashion fabrics, making sure they are grouped correctly, looking up the code on them, and physically tagging them with a yellow label.

Others are also working on fabrics in different parts of the store and we have to get everything ready for the big day on the 8th when it will all be weighed. The store will be closing for the day (that’s a first) so hopefully we’ll get it all done that day. Many of us are taking on extra shifts to get the prep done in time.

Well, better get on, I have to leave for work in an hour. Happy crafting!