Monday, 25 February 2013

A Splash of Colour

The very first sewing I did after 2 months of silence consisted of little things to lift the spirit.

My friend is currently on a medley of medication that leaves her unable to take Tylenol or Advil.

I know, right?
I just blinked at her for a moment.
Then I blurted "Well, you need some rice bags," and my friend said "What are rice bags?"

So I consider these not so much a teeny gift as an educational opportunity, with colour involved.

By the way, still using this awesome tutorial, thank you, Sew, Mama, Sew!

Then there were some business-related birthdays that needed addressing.
So. I addressed them.

I had this idea in my head that making zippy bags was tremendously time consuming, and that surely, surely, using velcro would be quicker. I constructed two sides of a bag by sewing 2 rectangles together - plus a layer of sew-in interfacing for a little firmness - and turned them right side out. I closed the "turning place" by hand, and machine sewed a length of velcro to each side. Then I top-stitched through everything, with neat little triangle pocket-top finishes, so the stitches wouldn't be ripped out every time the bag was opened, an advantage in a sewn object, I believe.

Was it quicker to make than a zippy bag? Ha ha. Not even a bit.
Maybe a bit easier. Less stressful. Fewer machine needles destroyed. (Remember this?)

Disclaimer: Makeup props totally not mine. Totally borrowed from kids.

The bags are prettily lined, a detail you can't see in these pictures, and are big enough for passports, makeup, some jewellery or an emergency chocolate stash.

I don't think that it's a coincidence that as I was recovering from my No-Sew Illness, the first things I made were little colourful gifts. I get the greatest joy sewing when I am making something in a hurry for someone else. Less time to surf the net in search of perfection in design and materials, more time to think about others, and just get the fabric moving.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

A Totally Selfless Fabric Purchase

So, yeah, I bought some fabric, but it was for a HIGHER CAUSE. So it's not like regular fabric shopping At All.

We have lovely neighbours, and a huge window by our dining room table that affords them no privacy whatsoever. You might think it affords us no privacy whatsoever, too. But my neighbours are fine upstanding human beings who would never peer into somebody's living room, whereas their garden and pathway to the front door are just part of our view. We view it, unintentionally, all day long.

Because I am really stupid, it took till about last week to have the light-bulb moment that would have been a duh moment for the rest of the universe: we really should hang up some curtains.

Hence the Good Neighbour Fabric Purchase.


When I went shopping last night, I discovered a sale on that made my heart sing.

I got 5 yards of this Ty Pennington home decor fabric (54" wide!) for $28, with free shipping to Mom and Dad in the US.

Ty Pennington Home Decor Impressions Asian Floral Taupe

Oh, la-de-da :)

I chose the fabric because it was a) attractive and b) neutral. It's not really what I wanted, which was something large and bold, but I didn't have the time to think about what KIND of large and bold I was thinking of. For me and my types - indecisive perfectionists - that decision could become something truly epic. We haven't put so much effort into interior design round these parts (ha ha ha ha! enjoy the understatement!) so I went neutral.

Don't watch this space. You know the speed I move at. But still. Had to share the moment.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Where did I go?

It's been two months since I last wrote, and I can't quite account for it.
Except that my brain was on vacation, apparently.

I would come look at my embarrassingly huge lovely stash every morning and every evening, and pat my sewing machine hello, and then, incomprehensibly, Turn My Back On Them. I had nothing to say in fabric. I didn't sew; the muse left me.

Glad to say she returned :) and I'm now back in the thick of things. I am working again on my Summersville quilt. I had a vision for a house, so I made one - with fussy cut windows! squeal! - but she is really too big at 16" square. It's fun to play, though...

I STILL have to finish my sister's challah cover, which needs exactly 30 minutes of sewing and ironing to add the lining - what is with me? I have two options for lining - not sure which way to go... Sister mine, if you have an opinion - which you surely will! - speak now, or forever hold your peace!


I also NEEDED a lunch bag. I worked for the last 2 years in a school, and I got to eat the delicious-in-a-gross-kind-of-way lunch every day (as evidenced by my waistline). Now that I have a new job, I'm brown bagging it every day, with little plastic and glass containers of food, and ugh, I've been carrying them in a shopping bag.

Check THIS out!
I made up the pattern. I am a genius that way.

1. Sew 2 rectangles together along 3 sides. Sew 2 MORE rectangles together along 3 sides.

2. Do that thing where you sew across the seams of a flat bag and make it miraculously dimensional. (Ahem, this is apparently called "boxing the corners".)

3. Say "Thank you!" in a breathy and wondrous voice to the Higher Power of your choice when it works, and you didn't even lose any fingers in the process.

4. Turn one of these pockets right side out, and smush the other one -still right side IN - inside it. This comprises 99% of your new bag-to-be. Congratulations. You are nearly a new bag owner.

5. Straight stitch around the top of the bag just to give you some (false) sense of control, and trim the edge above the stitching line a bit to make it neat.

6. Use pre-fab bias tape for the top and at the spot where they overlap, Don't Turn Under The Edges. Go wild! Let a little raw edge into your life!

7. Sew 2 rectangles into straps and top stitch 'em down. Do the same with a teeny bit of velcro on the inside.

Behold! The Lunch Bag Cometh!

Sometime in the next 6 months, I have a quilt to make for someone's special birthday and 2 small gifts for my parents (don't tell!) Also, I have a cunning plan up my sleeve for a bear's paw quilt, but I cannot reveal it yet...

Linking up with Quilt Story and Live a Colorful Life and Confessions of a Fabric Addict!