Thursday, February 19, 2009

sew it's still winter

it's still winter, it snowed overnight and the weather peeps are predicting a few more snow showers and cold temps through the weekend.... i'm not excited. i'm over winter. i LOVE winter, but i'm over it for this year season. i'll be happy to see the first flakes fall again by next december.... but for now, i would love to see some crocuses and daffodils and the tulips we planted in the fall fill the spaces where the brown, dried out, rotting leaves currently live.... so to fill my time i've been sewing again! this has been a bit of a seasonal thing for the past few years. i'm not going to let that happen again, i'm planning to make a few changes in my life in hopes to creating a bit of a small business by using my sewing machine. so, i hit the ground running with a few projects.

i had a baby shower to attend a few weekends ago, i dusted off the sewing machine and fired her up to make this little set:

the patterns are from Bend the Rules Sewing, by Amy Karol. I've sewn a few of these Scalloped baby blankets before. this one is the same as those, i used brown and white polka dot cotton on one side and a light blue, star embossed very, very soft chenille on the other. no flannel as interfacing inside like the pattern calls for. i used the same fabrics for the bib and burp cloth. i just LOVE this blankie pattern, it's really simple yet looks pretty cool with the scalloped edges. the bib whipped up in about 15 minutes! seriously! and i had made two burp cloths but managed to screw the 2nd one up pretty badly due to a brain malfunction that i can't believe i did... i'll discuss that later...

after i completed this project i was on sewing machine fire! so i collected up some of my fabric stash and made this:

it's pleated beauty again from Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol.

the detail stitching on the front panel was a bit finicky and puckered quite a bit, i'm attributing that to the fact that the black fabric i was using was not 100% cotton and had a tendency to stretch while i was free styling it! oh well, lesson learned....

i'm moderately happy with this bag. i LOVE the size, love the accessibility to the inside and it was FUN to sew. however the straps are too thin, i prefer a heftier strap and they weren't reinforced into the bag very well, i've had a bit of pulling and i'm sure i will have to mend this one soon. it's also a bit on the floppy side, the next time i make this bag (ps there WILL be a next time and it will be very soon) i plan on using a stiff interfacing so that the sides have a bit more structure. i like to be able to put my bag on the floor and have it stand up on it's own.

as you can see, i also made a few zippered pouches that coordinate with the pleat fabric. this was my first exercise in sewing on a zipper! whoooo what fun!!! it was tiny bit daunting the first time, but since then, it's opened up a whole new world of bags for me! these zippered pouches contain 4 diapers and a half pack of kirkland brand wipes in the large pouch and a few of my small incidentals like chapped stick and other lip gloss tubes, tissues, and deodorant(!!) in the small pouch. due to the floppiness of the bag these items wouldn't stay put in the small interior pocket so they needed their own home....

as for my brain malfunction... man, looking back, i really can't believe i did this... i sewed the baby blankie, the bib, the burp cloths and the entire bag!!! with the needle inserted into the machine backwards... the top thread kept breaking and pulling and i had to rip out so much stitching, it was horrendous. lots of bad words were yelled and i even swatted at my machine once or twice, i was sooo frustrated. i finally was looking through the machine manual for something completely unrelated when i noticed a HUGE warning about how the flat side of the needle should be towards the back! i could have spit i was so ticked at myself... it caused me to spend about twice the normal amount of time on all said projects due to ripping and resewing numerous times... once i fixed the problem my machine sewed through many layers like it was sewing through butter.... i was THIS close to calling Singer for help....

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Ooooo, Ahhhhh!

I had the same thoughts about the pleated bag, the straps where narrow and not reinforced enough. It ended up being brought back to me for some mending shortly after I gifted it. Live and learn I suppose!

K,S,M and R M said...

WOW. You are amazingly talented. Where do you people find the time? I am in awe!! Awesome job!

cara said...

sara - i find the time by not sleeping at night... it's a bit of an issue.....

thanks for the compliments!

Beth, Dave and Cori said...

BEAUTIFUL!! It may have been a lot of trouble with the backwards needle, but the end result is amazing! Now try to get some rest!

Michelle said...

love it all! are you going to open an Etsy shop?! hmmmm????

I hear you on the crafting instead of sleep.

RD said...

ditto Amanda's "ooooo, aahhh" I really want to attempt that bag one of these days. I love you color combinations.