BlueflowerTreasures

June 30, 2008

Joel Dewberry Aviary Custom Bag

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:06 pm

I’m a heat wimp.  Which is why I’m glad I live in the Pacific Northwest, not far from Seattle.  Our average summer temp is around 75 or so.  Saturday, it was 90, Sunday 91.  Way too hot for this pregnant lady.  Today is better…only 83.  Thank the Good Lord, tomorrow it will be back into the 70’s and I can get out and work in our garden.  The weeds love the heat and are trying to take over.

The heat also is affecting my sewing.  My sewing room is a converted sun porch which faces west.  And of course, we do not have a/c.  Very few people here do.  My sewing room is a good 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the house, so I haven’t spent much time in there.  But I caught a break this morning when my little ones slept in and I was able to finish up the custom Aviary Bag before the room heated up.

Isn’t it beautiful??  It was a bit of a challenge (in a good way!).  I combined patterns for the Coming and Going Bag with a standard tote bag.   Getting things to fit together took some doing and a mock up bag that my girls claimed as soon as I snipped the last thread.  Then I decided I didn’t like the pockets and pulled it apart to redo them.  What do you all think?  Here are pics of the front and back (or back and front):

Finding just the right place to cut out the sparrow panel is always fun.  I wanted a bird on the front, and on the back and on the end.  It made my piece of sparrow print look like swiss cheese, but I did it:

And here are the infamous pockets.  The first time, the pockets lay flat against the lining and ended up being pretty tight…I tried putting my cell phone in one, a camera in another, etc and they started pulling the lining and the stitching.  So I redid them a bit bigger and pleated the bottom so they will hold everything without pulling.

Well, all that is left for this last custom order before my break is a wallet…I should be able to do that tomorrow and have the bag & wallet and a couple of other goodies in the mail on Wednesday.  Then I can start working on the, ahem, looonnnggg list of orders for my family.  First up will be some simple knit skirts for my oldest daughter, who goes off to Grandma’s and day camp next week.

 

Advertisements

May 19, 2008

Mama has a new bag

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:06 am

Ever heard the saying “the cobbler’s children have no shoes”?  That’s what it’s been like (a bit) around here.  This handbag making mama was carrying a purse that I made over a year ago and it was showing its age quite a lot.  I’ve been wanting to make myself a new bag using the Katie Jump Rope fabrics.  And last week I got my hands on a pattern for the Run Mama Run bag and decided to test it with KJR. 

The original pattern yields quite a large bag, almost a tote, really, and far too big for my everyday use.  You all know what happens when one carries too large a purse…everything ends up in there and then nothing can be found.  So I downsized the pattern, by hand, because I didn’t want to take all five of my dear blessings out to the copy store.  Dear hubby had accepted a last minute invite to a baseball game and wasn’t home yesterday when I decided to do this.  I trimmed a little here, a little there and started laying out fabric and cutting.

This pattern has several pieces, but it is fairly straighforward.  My biggest pet peeve about bag patterns does make an appearance in this pattern:  the pattern for the outer and the lining are the same size.  I think this is because the bag *can* be made to be reversible, but I do think that there should be an explanation on how to make the lining smaller for a traditional bag.  I find it very annoying when a lining won’t sit properly flat in the bottom of the bag because there is too much of it.

I did make a cutting error…when I downsized the pattern, I forgot to downsize the width of my straps when I cut them, so they were too wide.  I just put little pleats at the bottom, which I actually like, but it wasn’t part of the original pattern.

Here is my lovely model with my new bag:

The other problem I ran into was that for some reason the outer bag fabric developed a few wrinkles during the process.  I used fusible fleece (which I’ve used many times before without a problem) for the outer and all looked good until I turned the bag.  I’ve steamed it a bit and some of the wrinkles left, but I guess I need to get more steamy.

        

One thing I do like about this bag is that it stands up by itself.  I was worried that because I narrowed the width, it would be too narrow to do this, but there it is, standing up.

I put pockets on both sides, one is divided to hold my cell phone and keys.  The other is long and will hold my yearly planner calendar thingie.

         

Did I mention it’s still a little big for me?  That’s my new wallet way down there.  Looks a little lost.  I’ll probably trek off to the copy center later this week.   I really like this pattern, the style and looks appeal to me, but I need something smaller…just big enough for my wallet, phone, keys.  This version will be great to use when I need to also take a couple of diapers or a book or bottle of water.

Speaking of wallets, I made a new one of those for me, too.  Below, the old one is on the top, my bright shiny new one is on the bottom.  (duh, right?)

My wallet pattern is based on the tutorial at that*darn*kat (the link is over there  –> ).  This time, I added a zipper compartment instead of more card slots.  If I had any cash, it would be artfully peeking out from behind either the cards or the zipper compartment.

       

So, that is how I spent my Sunday.  Now, its “clean-up Monday” at our house.  Mt. Laundry and Mt. Dishes await.  I have several sewing projects to do for local clients and a custom bag to start.  And I hope to post a review of a new book I snagged:  A is for Apron

Have a great Monday!!

May 15, 2008

Spotted Box goodies

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 2:09 pm

If you hang around hyenacart.com, you may know about The Spotted Box.  This is a box of samples from various vendors, there are several available for purchase each month and you, the buyer, get a whole bunch of really neat things.  Next month, the box will have a slew of super sweet somethings from me and the other ladies of Beautiful Enhantments.  Here are mine:

Business card holders.  Each one has two slots and a snap closure.   I love how this fabric matches the color of my business cards.   I made five of them in just a couple of hours.  I think I might make some more to send out as order thank-yous.

Yes, it has been two weeks since I posted.  As the saying goes, the night is darkest before the dawn.  Before I started feeling better just a couple days ago, I was sicker than ever.  But except for the occaisonal twinge of queasiness if I forget to eat, I’m feeling much better and will be tackling a huge sewing to do list.

Next up will be an apron and or maybe two for Retro Femme tomorrow.  I’m also going to put up another spot for a semi-custom Coming & Going bag, with the new prints from the Ginger Blossom collection (see my previous post).  Then I have some local sewing to work on over the weekend and, as my husband keeps reminding me, I need to start planting our veggie garden.  Yep, a bit of a late start this year, but winter lingered until just a few weeks ago, so the only choice was to wait.

Time here for a little keep-the-tummy-happy snack, then I’ll be back at my sewing machine!

April 25, 2008

What a difference a day makes

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:46 pm

Yesterday at this time, I was laying on the couch, trying hard to not, well, throw up, and hoping that by some minor miracle, my husband would be able to come home early from work.  Neither wish came true, but somehow I lived through it, my wonderful daughters kept things together enough that no-one went hungry and today…well, today, I feel almost…good.

So I finally finished the second custom Coming & Going bag with the Joel Dewberry Sparrows.  All that I needed to do was finish the topstitching, add the snap and sew the turning opening closed, but all that was just NOT possible yesterday…or most of this week, for that matter.

        

Front on the left, back on the right.  If you look closely, you can see I managed to cut the fabric just so that I have one sparrow on the front, one on the back and one on the end…see him there?  peeking round on the end?

And a cute pocket with a divider for a cell phone:

We’re having a clearance sale over at Retro Femme tonight.  I’ve listed a few things and there are lots of things from the other stores, too.  If you love a bargain, so take a look!

Next up on the sewing list…a few odds and ends and then I need to take a day to reorganize my space, it’s getting too messy for me.  Then I have some dresses to sew from some lovely Alexander Henry fabrics and, of course, Retro Femme stocks next week!  Maybe I’ll put together another apron like the Katie Jump Rope half apron (see below), with a different set of fabrics.   I do need a name for that apron style…something retro, fun and simple…any thought??

Have a great weekend!!

 

April 17, 2008

The end is near??

Filed under: random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:47 pm

If history truly repeats itself, I only have 2 or 3 more weeks of feeling like a overcooked noodle with the tummy flu.  The good news is that we were able to hear the heartbeat at my visit with the midwife on Tuesday. In the rare moments that I feel a bit of energy and lessening of queasiness, I usually head straight to my sewing room, ignoring the piles of laundry and dishes. 

I have two custom orders for the coming & going bag, both with the Sparrows fabric from Joel Dewberry.  The first is done and in the mail:

    

The other one is started and should be done this weekend.  I’ve listed two more semi-custom slots for this bag at Beautiful Enchantments, which stocks at 2pm eastern on Friday.  There are other fabric choices available: Metro Blues and Katie Jump Rope.

Speaking of Katie, I’m (still) working on a patchy, retro apron with this fun prints.  If I can manage to be upright for a couple of hours tonight, I’ll list it at Retro Femme tomorrow.

Thanks to all 3 🙂 of you who still visit me and I hope to be up to full speed again soon!

 

March 6, 2008

Thursday already!?!

Wow, this week is flying by.  And I haven’t gotten much sewing done, either.  Tuesday, the “phone guy” came to see why my dsl line was having lots of errors, when it was working at all.  We’ve had trouble since we moved here last summer, and had someone come out last fall.  That phone guy replaced the ancient jack in the kitchen (the only jack in the entire house!) and that helped a bit.  But I finally got fed up this week with the on again-off again dsl line and the static on our phone line and called the phone company to send someone.

This guy was a bit more thorough.  He went down into the basement and discovered the problem.   There is a place were the phone line, which is stapled to the ceiling as it comes across from the phone box outside over to the kitchen wall, was spliced.  It looks like there was once a leak in the furnace duct nearby that overheated and melted the phone line.  Someone had tried to fix it, but without cutting away the burned wire!  (I though about getting a picture, but felt silly about saying to the phone guy “wait, I need a pic for my blog!)  So the phone guy cut away all the burned wires and put a new modern splice and voila! fast stable internet and no phone static! 

Yesterday we went to visit my mom, who lives about two hours away.  We took the ferry Walla Walla across to Seattle.  Here was the view as we came into the dock.

I love Seattle.  I was born here and so were my parents and my children.  I worked for many years in one of those tall buildings.  And I met my hubby on a tour boat,which is in the picture, but hard to see.  It’s one of those small white boats at the far left.   This is my town. 🙂  And this is the best view of the city, from the water on a sunny day.

Here is my week’s work in progress.

Yep, two projects, lol!  The apron is almost done, I just have to make the other tie and attach them to the waistband.  The fabrics are from one of my favorite designers, Alexander Henry.  They are Sweet Treats, Just Desserts and Petit Fours.  The other pile is going to be an Amy Butler Frenchy Bag, reduced to 75%.  I’m hoping to add some lovely clear turquoise drop beads (not pictured) that match these Michele D’Amore Metro Blues fabrics, as a trim.  I’m going for an evening or dressy bag.  A bit of an experiment. 🙂  I’ll be listing these and a couple of hairsticks at Retro Femme for tomorrow’s stocking.

In the time I’ve been writing this post, I’ve also: checked on my children’s chores, started a load of laundry, put the baby down for his nap and taught my 6 year how to add with regrouping (carrying for us older people).  Now it’s time to sew!!

February 20, 2008

Feb 20th ~ Midweek Project Update

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:35 pm

I’m moving along at a pretty good clip on my sewing to-do list for the week.  Of course, this means that my housework is sliding, but that’s a small price to pay for feeling so productive!

I’ve finished both the zippered lined pouch (tutorial below!) and the apron.  Here is the apron, made from Alexander Henry’s Kleo fabrics.  I really like this fabric, it has a very nice hand.

And I’m a little past half-way done with the Coming & Going bag.  I need to decide which fabric to use for the handle…either the blue denim (it’s a nice, soft non-stretch denim) or the red home decor weight.  I’m leaning towards the red…

Notice the very nice free motion quilting on that top piece?  Yes, it is nice, thank you very much. 🙂  Both these items, plus the pouch below, are listed at Retro Femme.

My toddler is awake, now, so it’s the housework’s turn for my attention. I’ll finish these tonight.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.