May 30, 2014

The New Free Brookfield Bag From Sara at Sew Sweetness

Well, I jumped on this one.  I continually look for smaller bags to make, as some of you know, so when this bag came out a couple of days ago, I had to stop what I was doing and make it.  I was not disappointed.  The bag is a new, free pattern from Sara of Sew Sweetness called the Brookfield Bag.  I cut it out with fabric from my stash (and the great red faux leather that I am going to use up quickly if I don't watch out) the night the pattern came out and I completed it the next day.

The bag is closed with a flap and a turn lock but there are directions for using a magnetic snap instead.  I love this turquoise fabric with the red poppies.  I have had it for awhile and love how it goes with that red faux leather that I recently bought.  I used that faux leather for the top and corner trim pieces, the straps, and for the piping that goes down the side and bottom of the bag.

The back of the bag has the matching trim from the front.

The inside of the bag has two large elasticized pockets that are divided in half for a total of four pockets.

I really enjoyed making this one and I will make more.  It is the perfect size for those looking for a smaller bag (11" wide, 8" tall and 2" deep).

May 29, 2014

I Was a Winner in the Sew Mama Sew Blogger Giveaway

How fun was it to find out that I won one of the giveaways from the Sew Mama Sew Blogger Giveaway?  I don't win these kind of things so I was quite surprised and very pleased.  I entered a lot of the giveaways.  Hope you took the time to enter some, too.It is always a fun time when this giveaway rolls around (twice a year).  

Here is the stash of fat quarters I won from Sue at Suebee's World.

There is a fat quarter bundle of  9 yellow and coral Connecting Thread fabrics.  (There was only supposed to be 6 but Sue added in 3 extra from the same grouping).  There are also 2 Heidi Grace fat quarters.   Aren't they gorgeous?  I think so, too.

I gave away 6 (1/2 yd) pieces of fabric with 3 matching spools of  Gutermann thread.  My winner was Kim from Lily Patch Quilts.

I dream of a time we can all get in a BIG room and trade fabric pieces.  Wouldn't that be really fun?????

May 25, 2014

Lighthouse Convertible Bag

Since my other Bag of the Month Club Convertible Bag sold quickly, I decided I wanted to make another one.  This is a fun bag from Samantha from At Home With Mrs. H that I like because it is fun to make and looks great when completed.  This bag is large enough to carry an Ipad or just to use as your regular handbag.  It is convertible because the strap can be removed, threaded through the fabric tunnel on the back of the bag and clipped to the back, bottom D rings to wear as a backpack.  The adjustible strap allows you to wear it as a cross body or as a shoulder bag.  So many options in one bag.

I have had this lighthouse fabric for awhile.  It reminds me of the summers we used to boat and so many driving vacations where seeing the various lighthouses on our route was a must.  The reddish faux leather is one of the fabrics I bought last weekend when I went to the upholstery and drapery fabric outlet.  I bought the last yard they had.  It was great to work with and I would have gotten more if they would have had it.  The prices are great but selection and yardages always vary and I realize if I like it, I should buy what I think I will use over time because chances are others will like it too.  Like the shiny black quilted fabric that I went for that they no longer have!

Anyway, back to the bag.

It was fun looking at all of the lighthouses on this fabric to see which ones I have been to.  There are even two that are within a couple of hours of my house...Marblehead, OH and Old Fairport Harbor, OH, both of them on one of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie.  I put them on the front of the bag.  They are side by side on the bottom left corner of the purse flap.  One is white and the other is tan.

The flap covers the faux leather pocket and is fastened with a tongue latch.

The back of the bag has an outer zippered pocket and the hardware to turn it into a backpack.  (See the Statue of Liberty partially hidden under the fabric tunnel above the zipper?) Yes, she is considered a lighthouse!  (Didn't know you would get a geography lesson, too, did you???)

The inside of the bag has a slip pocket on one side and a zippered pocket on the other.

The last time I made this bag I didn't add the backpack hardware.  This time, I decided I would, to give it more versatility.  This is what it looks like with the strap threaded through the fabric tunnel and clipped on the bottom D rings.

I will definitely keep making this bag.  I love it!

May 22, 2014

Eloise Wallet Out Of A Fabric Swatch

Here is one more fabric swatch  project.  I have so many more up my sleeves but I need to get back to some big bags as most of my Bags of the Month have been sold.  I'll work with fabric swatches again soon.

I have looked at the Eloise Wallet pattern from Swoon Patterns for awhile and decided it was time to tackle it.  I decided to use a fabric swatch for this wallet but that probably wasn't my best choice.  A quilting cotton fabric would have been a better choice because this wallet gets very thick and difficult to work with toward the end.  More about that later.

What I love about this pattern is the extra "wallet" attached to the outside of the wallet.  This allows easy access to the cards and money that you use most often.  It is closed with a magnetic snap.

When opened, this attachment provides room for 10 cards and paper money.

And behind this attachment is a pocket that is large enough to hold my cell phone even in its case.

The main part of the wallet is accessed through the large zipper opening.

The inside of this wallet has room for 8 more cards (that's 18 total) and two pocket openings for bills or checkbook.  There is also a zippered pocket for other necessaries (coins, lip gloss, etc).

On the back of the wallet, I highlighted my favorite part of the fabric swatch.

This is a wallet pattern that is large and holds a lot.  I like the pattern but I will make some changes with my fabric and interfacing selections.  As I mentioned before, quilting cottons would work best for this.  There is a layer of Peltex on the body of this wallet that makes it stiff and difficult to turn inside out.  A heavier fabric makes it even more difficult.  I also would change the interfacing.  The pattern calls for craft fuse, which I used.  I have used it in a couple of bags so far and I don't like the stiffness it brings to the fabric especially when you already have a layer of peltex.  I will change it next time to my favorite interfacing, a woven fusible interfacing, Pellon Shape Flex SF101.  With these changes , I think I will love the results even more.

May 18, 2014

Fabric Swatches Into Buttercup Evening Bags

For a while, I have purchased upholstery and drapery sample swatches when my local fabric store discontinues the fabric and sells the swatches to make room for the new fabric.  I have recently been given more sample swatches from a local furniture store.  These swatches are a great way to get affordable pieces of expensive fabric to use for smaller projects.  I am even lucky enough to have an outlet a little over an hour away that has hundreds of rolls of this type of fabric for $6.00/yd.  Anything in the store! $6.00/yd!  I recently purchased an embroidered suede there that I have seen in another store for $40.00/yd.  This same store sells sample swatches for $.50 a piece.  The nice thing about that is that they often have multiples of one fabric which you do not see at furniture stores or fabric stores.  Anyway....what to make with them.  I have made rectangle pouches with wristlet straps and used them as a spotlight piece on a bag.  One of my favorite things to do with them, though, is to take the fancy ones and make evening bags out of them.  Here are two of them that I made this weekend.

To make these bags, I use the Buttercup Bag pattern from made by Rae.  She offers the pattern for free for personal use.   She does allow sales from her patterns but asks that you buy the pattern for $10 which includes a license to sell.  I make the smaller version and leave the strap off to make it a clutch bag.  I then draw a pattern piece that looks like a bow, cut 2 and sew right sides together leaving an opening for turning.  I turn it right side out, close the opening and you can do this by edgestitching around the bow.  I then thread the bow through one of these sparkly buckles or top it with a fancy button.

 I like both looks.  I then attach the bow to the top of the bag (over the magnetic snaps) by sewing the ends of the bow the whole length of the top band through all thicknesses.  That's all there is to it.  I love them.  You can make them to match the color of your dress or make them blacks, silvers, etc.

Here is what the inside looks like.  There is one small slip pocket.

Here are a few other colors that I have made.

Just perfect for a night out..... where do I get one of those???????

May 14, 2014

Just So You Know...I'm Done

Well, after a complete rehaul of my office/TV room/sewing room, I am finally finished with the majority of the work.  I have my sewing room with a TV in it.  I still have a few things that are stored in another room that I want to bring in but as of right now I have 4 spots in the entertainment center, room in one of the file cabinets and 4 desk drawers left to fill.  I think I am good.

Here is my sewing corner.  I have one of my machines on one desk and the other on the other desk.  I can now sew in front of the large window that provides much needed light (wait and see, the older you get the more of that light you need).

The other side of the room is my storage center.  I have everything in hand's reach.  My ironing board is in the laundry room that is a couple of steps away.


I can close myself off if need be with my French doors, but still see what is going on.


That's it!  Now back to sewing.  I don't know what yet but I got a lot of yummy upholstery pieces from someone a couple of weeks ago that I am dying to get into.  Here is a small amount that I have to choose from.  There is so much more...more prints and a ton of solids.   Lucky me!

 I'll show you what I decided to use and what I turned it into soon.

May 12, 2014

Sew Mama Sew's Blogging Giveaway

This week is a fun week in the blogging world!  Sew Mama Sew sponsors a huge giveaway with many of your favorite bloggers (and more) giving away great prize packages.  They are arranged in groups of either handmade items or sewing supplies.  Pay attention to see if the participating blogger will ship internationally or just in the U.S.

This is also a great time to be introduced to new blogs.  You just might find a new favorite out there.
All you have to do is go to Sew Mama Sew and you will see links to participating bloggers giveaway.  You have until May 16 at 5 PM PST.  Don't wait until then.  You will be surprised at how many participants there will be.

I will be participating this time.  I have decided to give away 6 (1/2 yd) cuts of fabric with 3 matching spools of Gutterman thread.  I will ship internationally.

To participate in my raffle, enter the rafflecopter giveaway below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

May 9, 2014

The Tale of Two Halves

Well, I have not sewn since I finished my May Bag of the Month, the Poolside Tote, on May 3,  6 days ago.  That may not sound very long, but to someone that sews everyday, it feels like a long time.  After reading about everyone Spring cleaning and decluttering, I felt like it was a good time to revamp my sewing room.  I didn't take any before pictures, but the room that I am currently sewing in was my former work office.  I wasn't sure if I was going back to work when I left my job 2 years ago, so I kept everything.  I moved my sewing things in on top of everything else along with a 6 foot table that I kept my machines, etc on.  I don't know what creativity looks like in your house but mine is pretty messy.  I was so busy for awhile that I didn't straighten up between projects.  I couldn't take it anymore. 

Here is the half that is done.  Yay!  It is going to help me be more efficient.  The 6 foot table doesn't even have to come back in!  I will have so much more room.

I still have a few things that need to come in on this half but not before I sweep and scrub the rug.

Unfortunately, the other half looks like this!

Everything that I haven't decided about is here.  All of the desk drawers are cleaned out but the 2 top skinny desk drawers.  The dining room table is full of what must come back to the desk.  The plan is to finish cleaning today and scrubbing the rug tomorrow. 

The real question is, how can I stop here???  Hopefully, I can go room to room to freshen each room while still finding time to sew.   This was definitely the room with the most work.  It should only get easier....

May 4, 2014

May Bag of the Month - The Poolside Tote

 Well, here it is 9 AM on May 4th and I am writing a blog about my May Bag of the Month by Anna from Noodlehead that I completed last night.  I am very happy with the outcome of this bag but I am sad, too.  Since I was a tester for the June Bag of the Month from Christine at Chris W Designs, my June Bag of the Month is completed, also.  I just can't show it until June.  That means I am done with the "surprise" coming in my email on the first of every month.  For those of you that didn't participate, you still can.  Just click here.  You will receive all of the patterns that have been released and the surprise bag that is coming in June.  To see all of the current bags, scroll down my blog.  I have all of mine posted down the left column.  But, I digress as usual.  Back to the Poolside Tote...


This bag is a large tote that is perfect for the beach or pool.  It would be able to hold everything you need for your day of fun including towel, book, snacks, sunscreen....and more.  I added the flower and I will tell you about the tutorial for that in a minute.  I wanted a pop of fun.  Anna adds recommendations for the types of fabrics to use and the interfacing pairings to use depending on the structure you want in your bag.  I used a home dec fabric and used Pellon SF 101, a fusible woven interfacing.  My bag is substantial but could not stand up on its own...just the way I wanted to make it,  more flexible to stuff everything in it.

The back of the bag has your choice of a zippered pocket or a slip pocket.  I put in the zippered pocket.  There are directions for both.

The inside of this bag is huge.

The pattern includes a key loop with your choice of a snap hook or D ring end.  It is necessary because it may take awhile to find your keys at the bottom of this bag!  This loop was to be made from twill tape but since I didn't have any, I made it out of some of my exterior fabric.  Just cut a piece of fabric the length of the twill tape requirement (4 1/2 ") by 4x the width of your hardware.  I used a 1" snap hook so the piece I cut was 4" wide.  Just fold, press and sew as you would the strapping.

Now, back to the flower...

I wanted to put a little summer on the bag so I used a tutorial I found on Sew Ritzy Titzy.  It was just what I was looking for.  I used remnant pieces of my exterior and lining fabrics.  I glued it to an old decorative pin that I had so I can remove it later if I decide.  The flower would have been striking in a strong color like yellow or orange, too.

Now, I am mostly caught up.  Is it time to clean my sewing room/office/TV room to make it a sewing room only ????

May 2, 2014

I've Been Featured on Sew Can She

I have read several of my favorite blogs this past week and have enjoyed reading about my blog friends being featured on other blogs.

First was Maria of Mia Creates.  She was featured last Friday on Sew Can She.  She had the most hits from the Saturday Linky Party on that site the week before.  Then , I read about Daryl from Patchouli Moon Studio being featured for her Women Quilts on Pink Bling Crafter.  Then I read about Janelle from Emmaline Bags and the recognition she is getting at the Quilt Fair in Perth, Australia.

This morning I saw that I got featured on Sew Can She blog!  The same blog that featured Maria the week before.  My link got the most hits from last Saturday's Linky Party.  I submitted an older post with the animal prints and frog Zip and Go Bags from Dog Under My DeskSee it here.  Now that is a fun week!

Off to sew my May Bag of the Month.  It is the Poolside Tote from Anna at Noodlehead.  Here is the fabric I have chosen...

I'll show you the finished product soon.