Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What I've Been Working On

I've been sewing!

I had a request from a family member for a large bag to use for her frequent trips to the beach. She lives in Florida and often has a need for a beach bag. I did a LOT of fabric searching, I tried to share options with her while shopping but nothing really truly inspired me.... I wanted it to be a thick canvas type fabric with a lot of body and I was looking for a bold print. I finally found this and used a yellow duck cloth that matches the yellow flowers for the inside lining. I used the pattern for the Everything Tote from the book Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross.

I loved creating this bag, the size is great, and the structure is fantastic too. The pocket has two compartments, one is perfect for a cell phone, the other is larger for a few small incidentals.

The main compartments is HUGE.... i put two large beach towels in this one to photograph it and still had a TON of room.

I loved this bag so much that i had planned on making another exactly like it for me. But, the fabric was sold out by the time i got back for more. I DID purchase another print for me and hope to sew another one soon. I did make a small modification. The bag is intended to be sewn in a lighter fabric, one with a bit more give. The gathers are supposed to be created in the same way ruffles are created but the fabric was way too stiff for this. I decided to do two small pleats instead on each side instead and I think I prefer this look over the ruffle/gathers.

In addition to the bag, I also made two skirts last week. I used two different patterns.

1st - Angry Chicken's 5 minute skirt, pattern found here.
2nd - Easy Breezy Skirt, found in the book Sewing Green by Betz White.

This is the "5 minute" skirt, it took way longer than 5 minutes... in fact I had to put it down for a day because i was so annoyed with it. Once I learned where my errors were, it all worked out and I will be tweaking this pattern for more skirts. Problem One, the waist was HUGE... I had to decrease it by about 8 inches... (I'm not sure that's really a problem really LOL). Problem two, was the trapezoid shape that resulted in pointy sides that hung down further than the front and back hem... remedied by adding a curve to the hem in the front and back... it creates an optical illusion... Both issues taught me a lot about skirt construction. Thus, I'm not in the least bit upset because I learned something AND the skirt is wearable in the end. Another thing I learned is that finding FOE (fold over elastic) is not something that you can do at Joann's... i improvised and used a 3/4 in thick piece of black elastic, it "worked" but is not ideal. I plan on purchasing some online before i make my next skirt with this pattern.

This is skirt number two and is commonly known as "the pillowcase" skirt. However there is NO WAY my ass would fit into a pillowcase... so I followed the directions in her book for using other fabric. In short, this skirt is a long straight tube and the width is based on the widest part of your hips. It's got an elastic waist and a nice substantial hem. This fabric was purchased in Ithaca NY, while on vacation, it was $4.73 and was a remnant in the discount rack. Add in the elastic for the waist and rick rack for the hem detail and I made this skirt for less than $10! Same goes for the skirt above, however I think that was was even less, MAYBE $6 bucks!


jen said...

Glad to see it all worked out. I love the bag fabric and the ric rac!

Dr. Drama said...

I love that bag!

Life with Pog said...

You're cool. I need to get a hobby.

Jacqueline said...

YAY YAY YAY and the bag is awesome!! Thank you so much, Cara!

The Smith's said...

Stumbled upon your blog because I googled fabric, Ithaca, NY. I am also vacationing in the area and would like to visit some fabric stores while I'm here. Can you give me the name of the one you visited?


Lisa said...

Love the bag and the skirts! Great job.