Friday, April 27, 2012

I mustache you a question

 Same clutch pattern as my last post, but made with linen and a really pretty print from JoAnns (picked up this Spring.)  I think it is called "winter berries."  I wish it came in other color ways besides mustard.  A pretty robin blue and grass green would be nice. 

You can see in this photo that I started to add labels to my things.  About time, huh?  I purchased the custom stamp through the etsy seller: modernartstamps.  I found permanent fabric ink pads and have been practicing stamping different ribbons/fabric to get the look I want.  It's not perfect (yet), but with the right base and more practice on my part I should be able to get a clean look.

I donated this clutch to a silent auction that benefited the organization Young Life. When I was making this clutch I was trying to appeal to the young adult crowd.  Something trendy but slightly grown up.  It was popular.  It wasn't until after I made it did I discover the local t-shirt for the kids has this saying on the front:  I mustache you a question...   Kind of perfect. :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

When the first draft is the final draft!

 While I am working (my real job) and have some mental downtime, I sometimes work through how to create a pattern in my head. One of the reasons I like sewing, is that it is mentally stimulating for me and allows me to creatively problem solve.  Being a visual thinker, I can sometimes mentally take apart something I want to make and work through the whole pattern making/sewing process before I cut into fabric. 

I have seen plenty of these cute round bottom clutches with flaps around the internet and thought they were adorable.  Most of what I have seen, only had a magnetic or button closure at the flap.  That didn't seem practical for me.  One toss into the back seat of my car would result in lost lip gloss and phone.
{flap completely covers the zipper and is secured with a hidden magnetic clasp}

 I wanted to add a zipper, but still have it follow a slight curve at the top of the bag.  So after a week of thinking through this process, I sat down over lunch on a Friday and wrote out everything that was floating around in my head.  That night I decided to use a vintage calender towel to make a first draft.  I first drew out my pattern on paper, trued up all my drafting, and cut into the fabric.  One towel and fat quarter of cotton was more than enough to make this sweet clutch/wristlet.

 I have been successful at finding some great thrift store purses (half off Wednesdays!!) to reuse for their leather, handles, zippers, and hardware. I reused the small D-ring and clasp from a $.50 purse to quickly turn this clutch into a wristlet.
{interfaced black and white printed gingham for the interior.  and a slightly crooked magnet sewn in.}
It is a simple little design, but I was smitten with myself when the first draft was exactly what I imagined in my head.  I by no means designed a completely original purse (these little round bottom purses seem to be a dime and dozen now) but this purse was a great exercise for my mind.  Continually building a foundation of knowledge that leads to me to be more creative and flexible in other areas of my life. What a great hobby!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Scrappy Goodness

 This ol' blog might not show it, but I have been keeping myself busy with some sewing projects lately.  Less than a month ago I hosted a baby shower for my SIL who is expecting a little girl this May.  Is there anything better than sewing for little girls?!  ***As a side note- I picked up several yards of clearance Lisette cotton lawn (Spring 2011 collection) from JoAnn's earlier this spring.  I have three little nieces to sew {matching}summer dresses for!***

Ok, back on topic.... sewing for the baby shower.  Waaaaay back in Sept 2008, I participated in a vintage fabric swap.  I think the premise of the swap was to cut through our stash of vintage bed linens and make 6xx6 inch squares, bundle them together and mail them out.  I wish I would have noted more detail about the swap in my post, because I know some amazing woman collected, sorted, and remailed everyones loot. But, hey, that was like FOUR YEARS AGO!  Where did that time go? Seriously.  Anyways, some of the blocks were passed along, others I kept and when it came to making a baby blanket I immediately remembers this great stack of blocks!  I rummaged through my own vintage scrap pile to cut a dozen more blocks and sewed this together in an evening.
 I was so smitten with myself when I finished piecing the top!  So girl-y and spring-y! And I had the perfect backing thanks to a wonderfully sweet and generous blog reader/customer of mine.  She was cleaning out her closets and found these older sheets and sent me a box to see if I could use them instead of throwing them away (If you are reading this now, THANK YOU AGAIN!).  A green and white gingham was the perfect piece to pair with the front.    To finish the quilt I sewed right sides together and turned it.  I top stitched the outside edge.  Instead of tying the quilt with yarn, I found a neat little stitch on my Pfaff 2038 that bound the quilt together.  I stitched a little pink diamond in the middle of each 6x6 square. 

And after I had finished the entire quilt, I had this nagging thought that someone might be grossed out that I cut up old bed sheets and made a blanket out of them.  I mean, not everyone is cool like my readers or fellow seamstresses.  The blanket was well received and I know it will get plenty of play time when the baby is born, but what are your thoughts on reusing certain vintage fabrics for new-er sleeping items? 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

WIP- Vintage Feedsack Cross Quilt

Sewing has been sporadic as best lately. And now that the weather is definitely heading in the direction of spring, my sewing days are even more numbered!  But I wanted to document the start of this quilt so in like 5 years when I am finishing it up, I have a date to refer back to. That is what a blog is for right?  To show how slow I am in completing things? :)  Two years ago I was given a bag of feed sack scraps.  I knew then I wanted to turn them into a beautiful scrappy quilt.  But what do I pair this vintage fabric with? Any modern fabric didn't match the weave of the older scraps.  I thought I would find some old white feed sacks and use the two together.  I did find and collect those feed sacks but I love the prints on them so much I want to feature them in their own project.

 Then early this winter I was "cleaning" my sewing room (basically re-stacking fabric from one spot to another) and I found a stash of linen garments I picked up at the thrift store.  Well worn, well washed.  The texture of the fabric was a perfect pairing to the pretty vintage prints.  This was the solid I was looking for!

I've had my eye on making a "cross" quilt for a long time.  Most of my feed sack scraps are the negative cuts from someone making clothes and crafts, so this block allows me to use every scrap I can cut a 2''x2'' square from.  The best part about this project, beyond the visual prettiness, is that I finally purchased my first rotery cutter and mat.  Love, love, love. Such a nice tool for making quilts. I am hoping this quilt fits a queen bed. Right now, I am not thinking about how many 6.5'' blocks I need to make to get that done.  Just one block at a time.