Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Travel bag? Tote? Purse?......

I am traveling for work this month and found that I needed a travel bag that would work with any outfit and contain my 'stuff' and a laptop.  DD1 had a nice tote she had gotten from Target a few seasons ago.  Good size bag, pleather and herringbone fabric.   I decided to use it for inspiration!

DD1's bag from Target.  It has an extra long zipper so that it can open very wide.

So I chose a quilted pleather from JoAnns for the lower portion and I could not find a herringbone fabric that would work, so I went with a black and white quilting fabric for the upper portion.  The quilting fabric was much too thin, so I added batting and quilted the fabric (below you can see the quilting on the inside of the upper portion.)  With the busy-ness of the lined fabric, you can't really see the quilting lines from the outside, but it gives it structure and some depth to the fabric.  The blue part at the bottom is a plastic grid I used to give the bottom of the bag structure.

I didn't have a pattern to go by, only the pictures of my daughter's bag, so I just made it up as I was going along!  Below is the zipper portion that will be attached to the lining as the bags closure.  I left the zipper extra long, to allow the bag to open up wide.

Here is the lining fabric (party on the inside!) with the zipper attached.

 The right side (will be the outside) of the zipper.

I added a pocket with a zipper closure to the lining, as well as a pocket for my phone.

On the other side of the lining, I added various size pockets.
The two tall thin pieces below, are the side pieces of the lining.  One has an elasticized pocket for my water bottle, the other side has two pockets for my glasses.

Here is the lining and outer sewn together after pulling the purse through a gap in the lining. 

Push the lining down in the bad and top stitch around the top and whallah!!  I have a new travel bag!! (Only took me 8 hours!!  but I enjoyed every minute!)

 Extended zipper is awesome, bag opens very wide.   Here is the bag inside out. You can see the various pockets, and my water bottle on the end!

Inside out,  Eye glasses on the other end, and more pockets on the other side.

I love my new bag!!   Now.......  if I just had enough time to make a new coat before I head back East.....

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
swimming in the bathtub can be fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

April Rhodes Pop Over Poncho

I don't recall where I saw the Pop Over Poncho originally, but I immediately loved it. It is a slimmer fitting poncho, with a cowl neck, kangaroo pocket and the back hangs longer than front (my description, not the designer's)  I knew it would be an awesome Christmas gift for DD2.   Then I forgot about it.  Christmas started closing in... I did quite a few Google searches until I found out who created the pattern.  April Rhodes.  This is the only pattern of hers that appealed to me.  I bought it, $15.00. Kind of steep for a simple PDF pattern, but hey, I liked it and also...the instant gratification of print and tape and GO. 
I already had the perfect fabric.  This is a wool plaid that I picked up at a yard sale years ago.  Over 2 yards, .50.  I lined it with some mystery fabric that I also snatched at the yard sale for .50.  The cowl neck is lined with an old soft knit t-shirt of mine, and the cording is a shoe string my husband donated.  So despite the pricey PDF pattern, this gift came in at $16.00..
I cut the s/m, but with the length of the largest size, as it seems quite short as designed and I wanted a deep hem for added weight to help it hang nicely.  The hardest part of the whole thing was figuring out how to lay it out so that I could match the plaid pattern!  The shoulders look a bit odd on my double (KG2), as she has much wider shoulders than my daughter.

If I were to make this again, I would make the kangaroo pocket larger.  Wider AND deeper.  Below are pics with the cowl collar standing straight up (look at that pattern matching!!)  I now wish that I had redrawn the cowl to be taller in the back so that it could double as a hood.  It is also a close fit getting this over your head, so keep that in mind if you have a big head. 

 Below is the lining.  The pattern does not have you line it, but why not?  I just cut an extra front and back and then shortened them by a couple inches.  I think next time it would also be awesome to have a kangaroo pocket on the INSIDE of the lining, just a secret pocket for keeping your hands warm, or chocolates hidden. 

Here it is on DD2 (the red head is DD1)  She loved it.

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
kiss a cute boy.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

I have read many end of year posts. I enjoy reading them, but don't feel up to creating one myself and somehow that makes me feel guilty, like I am cheating.  Makes me question why I blog. I need to give more in this give and take community.  I do not blog to make money nor in search of a career.  In honesty, it is the connection I crave, and the validation from others with the same passion as mine.  I do it, to document what I sew. If others read it and find it useful, that is a bonus for me. When I have a comment, it brightens my day.  I truly enjoy reading the documented sewing of others. Especially those who do it purely for the sewing experience.  Not those who write to entertain, but rather those who blog what they do, because they want to.  To share. To brag. To remind themselves of what they have done.  They capture my attention and admiration. I appreciate them all for sharing. When I see one that I really like, start to become commercialized, it actually saddens me and then I tend to move on. Makes me feel like I have lost an honest look into their passion.  That may sound selfish, but it is the truth.  My look back on this year has much sewing. I have created things I love to wear  My Minoru jacket and things I never wear NL 6407 dress aka ill fitting house dress    I hope to fill 2015 with sewing more of the former. I want to thank all of you that read and commented on my journey this year.  I love the connection and validation of others with the same passion. I look forward to seeing what both you and I create in 2015.

I wish you all the best year yet.
Stay happy.
 Keep sewing.
And if you can't sew,
build a snowman.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Christmas is a blur of sewing, baking, shopping, and hanging out with family.  I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and the New Year is the best yet.  

I have been busy, completed are the following, pics will have to wait until after the holidays!

Popover Poncho, Rebecca Taylor pullover top and 4 of these, The Dopp Kit, by Grainline Studios.

Today is a marathon of pajama pants from a pattern traced so many years ago, that I can't even recall it's origins.  I have it traced out in sizes for all my family members!

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
Bake Christmas Cookies!!

My daughters come over every year and we bake enough cookies to give out as gifts to all our friends and family.  It is my favorite Christmas activity!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Navy Blazer, check!

Finally!   I finished my navy blazer.  I morphed the M5815 and B4610.
See previous makes for details... I have made the M5815 twice previously.  Wool Tweed M5815 finished  wool tweed in progress  and Medium weight Linen  
This was my inspiration.  Love the look.  I plan on wearing it tomorrow with my mustard jeans.
This was a journey.  All went well until I got to inserting the sleeves.  To much ease.  2 3/4" to ease in.  Way to much.  I ended up inserting and taking out a sleeve, TWICE.  So I altered them.  Cutting down the sleeve cap, and taking in the bicep seams, and letting out the side seam on the body underarm.  I am not 100% happy with them, but I can live with it.  The fabric, seems to highlight every wrinkle, and is a hair magnet. 

I plan on wearing it with the sleeves rolled and pushed up.  Below you can see the color of the sleeve lining.

I didn't have enough of either lining fabric, so had to go with a diff lining for the sleeves.  LOL, I can see I forgot to slipstitch the sleeve lining closed, you can see the opening I left to turn the jacket right side out after bagging the lining.  I followed the instructions in Jackets for Real People.

These pictures crack me up.  It is hilarious how well it matches my pajamas. 

All in all, despite the sleeve debacle, the cat hair magnet qualities and always looking wrinkled, I think I really like it.  One more of my Pinterest 'to dos' DONE. 

 Stay Happy,
Keep Sewing,
and if you can't sew
Make a big pot of chili!
And for a little Grandma eye candy....

Sunday, October 19, 2014

McCalls 6996 Cardigan

Not a whole lot to say about this pattern.  My first cardigan.  I believe I made view E.  The longer looking one.  It is not as long as the drawing, nor is the front hemline as slanted.  Both are fine, because I love the end result.  This was an easy make.  The only changes I made were to use French seams where I could, and where that would not work, on inside, I folded under each side of seam line 1/8" and then  topstitched it down.  I added non stretch seam tape in the seam line at shoulders and on side seam from under arm to waist to prevent stretching.
When I first finished it, I was afraid it looked like a bath robe.  When I wore it out with hubby, I had him take pics.  My fear was gone.  I do not think it looks like a bath robe at all.  It is a flattering fit without being clingy or adding bulk.

I decided I liked it so well, that I made another. 

Up next is a navy blazer.  I am morphing the M5815 and B4610.  I have made the M5815 twice previously.  Wool Tweed M5815  and Medium weight Linen so I knew I had the fit already, but I want a totally different collar.  So I am using the 5815 body, 4610 neckline and collar as well as the 4610 sleeves.  When I bought this navy fabric from, I could have sworn it said medium weight twill, but it arrived and says it is Kaufman Uniform Basics.  I like the color and weight, and I hope to make this blazer a basic in my rotation, so it should be perfect!  Again I am also using Pro Sheer Elegance medium weight interfacing from

Stay Happy
Keep Sewing
and if you can't sew
Bake some bread, the smell is awesome!
And for a little Grandma eye candy...