Posted tagged ‘patterns’

Everything tote, part 2

April 26, 2009

It’s finished!  I’m very pleased with it overall.  Sewing the handles on was a little tricky, and the fabric was a little bulky in some places.

I think I’ll try a few different things next time.  I also think I’d like to make a smaller version of this.  The size is great for a day out, or a day trip, or the beach, but I think it’s rather big to be used as an every day sort of bag.  The thing is, I really really like the design, and it came together so quickly, I couldn’t believe it.  There were a couple of times that the stitches didn’t catch, and that was annoying, but no big deal. 

If you look at it closely AND know what you’re looking at, you would find a multitude of sins, but as it is, it was my first pass at it, and I’m a relatively new sewer, and it is all a learning process, and any average person isn’t going to notice the flaws.

Here are some pictures.  They aren’t great, but the bag is!  It will be perfect for Key West this week.

The everything tote, part 1.

April 23, 2009

To start, before I get into the bag talk, I just learned that I won Amber’s giveaway over on One Shabby Chick.  Thanks Amber!  I don’t usually win anything.  I’m excited to see what I get. 

So, I’ve started working on the everything tote back from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing.  I’ve cut out the pattern, sewn up the sides, put the two together, figured out the gathering, and am working on the binding phase.  I put it down last night because that got to be a little more precise than my tired brain and eyes could handle. 

Want to know my thoughts so far?  Here they are anyway! 

The pattern calls for 1 yard of fabric (though the book says 1/2, which Heather corrected on her website).  I bought 1 and 1/2 of each fabric just to be safe.  Sometimes I’m absent minded and/or want room to mess up since I’m not sure what I’m doing or looking at.  As it turns out, this was probably a wise decision.  I’m not sure that it would have worked out with only 1 yard.  It’s possible I traced the pattern wrong, but I don’t think I was off by that much.  I ended up having to use most of it. 

As far as the pattern itself,  I don’t get along with patterns.  I don’t know how to trace them properly.  I don’t have the right things to trace them with.  I don’t have the patience to do it right.  I decided to trace these pieces onto muslin though, then pinned them to the fabrics, then cut them out, and it went just fine.

I did double the piece for the pocket so that I could have a lined pocket.  I find it easier to keep things straight that way. 

The gathering part was way simpler than I imagined it would be.  And it didn’t need much gathering.  The picture lead me to believe there would be more. 

Then the binding.  It calls for both the outer fabric and the lining fabric.  I’m assuming this is just for bulk, or weight, or something.  I’m finding the bulk a little difficult to work with and press and what not. 

But I did it, and now I’m at the edge stitching part of attaching the binding.  My first pass wasn’t successful.  This is when I put it down and closed up shop for the night.  I’m thinking that maybe the zipper foot would be helpful?  In order to avoid dealing with the bulk?  And maybe to be able to see a little bit better? 

Suggestions would be very helpful.  I’m hoping to finish it tonight, and then, pictures!

Things I’m no good at.

April 10, 2009

There are a lot of things I’m not so great at, but this post will concentrate specifically on zippers and patterns.  Also, this post is likely to work around to how the reason I am no good at these things is that I’m lazy, disorganized and/or impatient. 

Last night, I attempted to follow a pattern and make a little toiletries travel bag.  I used my new pattern tracing kit, and that went alright, I guess.  Except that the pattern pieces are bigger than the chalky tracing papers.  Am I supposed to move these around?  Use several in different colors?  Or, maybe, now that I’m thinking about it.  I should have pinned down the pattern piece?  Or something like that?  Maybe I should read the section about tracing patterns.  So, there’s the solution to that one.  Read twice, cut once, right?  Instead of read never, cut 15 times? 

Next up, zippers.  Once I managed to get workable pattern pieces cut out and realized that I was looking at step number 6 instead of step number 2 (hello, glasses), I pinned everything up, and got to sewing.  It’s hard though, figuring out where the zipper is when it’s hidden between a fabric sandwich.  And also when part of the fabric is rather heavy canvas stuff.  I just couldn’t keep it straight.  In some places, the stitches are too far from the zipper; in other places too close.  The too close part really screws things up.  I guess, though, it’s a learning process, right?

I think the lessons learned here are: read everything at least twice; don’t try a new project right before bedtime; when attempting a new project or technique use familiar fabrics that are easier to work with.