YearofHandmade

An eclectic mix of handmade gifts, sewing inspiration, reviews, books, needlework, crafts, homeschooling, baking, and recipes

Scooter Fun! July 25, 2010

I can’t remember ever having as much fun sewing as I did making this Scooter Bag!

OK, now I just need to travel to France and wear it while I drive around on a real scooter ;0)

The pattern is the Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag from Sew Liberated HERE

and made up in all Echino Fabrics from Superbuzzy HERE.

I admittedly have an addiction to Echino Fabrics ;0)

The fabrics are a heavier weight linen/cotton blend so I used a featherweight interfacing which was perfect!

I love the large back pocket and the peek-a-boo scooters on the underside of the quilted strap!

The front also has 2 pockets…or rather one divided pocket.

and a nice zippered pocket on the inside…

with some more scooters in the lining!

Oh and my favorite part ~ the frayed scooter applique!

R. is totally in love with it

but its awfully big for such a little peanut

so I am thinking I might shrink the pattern

and make her a matching mini one for Christmas this year ;0)

Such fun!

A few quick notes on the pattern:

I can’t imagine making this without a walking foot ~ really I wouldn’t even try!

Lots of cutting and fussy cutting =0)

To attach the pocket decorative edge, you first need to put the pocket FRONT and LINING wrong sides together

and then lay the decorative piece face down and UPSIDE down on the LINING side…the instructions are not very clear here and I had to seam rip a couple of times.

When boxing your corners or sewing the lining to the exterior bag ~ be SURE to sew with the seams away from each other

or you’ll never be able to get your walking foot over all of the fabric.

Other than those few tips, this bag was pretty easy to make and I think it looks FABULOUS!

Now I’ve got to figure out something to whip up for my Nephew’s 4th Birthday (that was last week!)

Happy sewing,

Colette

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More Echino? April 21, 2010

Remember I blogged a bit here about the Sew Liberated Mischievous Gnome Messenger Bag?

Right, I was going to use Heather Ross Gnomes in plum…

until I came across these fabulous scooters from Echino!

Alright, I admit it…I have a slight infatuation with Echino fabrics!

What can I say?  They make me smile.

Echino fabrics available here at superbuzzy

from top to bottom:  Dots – Olive, Scooter – Grape, and Solids – Grape.

Got my fabrics washed and ready to press so I could begin cutting out my pieces.

AND then my iron wouldn’t cooperate ~ ARRGGHHH!

Ordered new iron and hope it will show up today.

Guess I’ll have to go on a bicycle ride with R. instead =0)

Have  a lovely afternoon!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Schoolhouse Tunics Finished! February 24, 2010

OK so the first Schoolhouse Tunic (Sew Liberated pattern here) was a tad small across the bust, so off it went to Molly in California as a very early birthday present (ha, ha her birthday is in late June!) which is good because last year her present was three months late!  I had planned on making her one anyway and had her help me pick out the fabric (Amy Butler Daisy Chain in gray) by sending her various links to Alewives Fabrics (here).

I apologize for the horrible picture, but D. was on his way out the door and offered to take it to the post office for me, so I had just a second (and terrible lighting) to take a pic and wrap it up.  This first one was made up in the tunic length.

I chose to go with an Anna Maria Horner fabric, Little Folks ~ Fortune Sun, for mine and to make it in the shirt length instead of the tunic length.

The pictures don’t do it justice…the colors are so pretty and springy (as I sit here typing with a foot and a half of snow outside and it is still snowing!)  I don’t love the turquoise tank under…I will have to pick up a soft lavender next time I am in town.

I wish I would have looked at her pattern sizing in terms of xs, s, m, l, and xl instead of numbers…this is the first piece of clothing I’ve ever made for myself…and I should have used my measurements instead of my “normal store-bought” sizing, as I had to go a size up.  I don’t feel too terrible though, Molly is such a tiny little thing and it fit her perfect!  Lesson learned…really…I know I should have learned that when making my daughter’s “twirly skirt”!

This pattern was easy enough to follow.  A few suggestions though…make sure you mark the pleats on the skirt front and back accurately, as well as the marks on the bodice bottom (where the center of the pleat is supposed to match up), and use an embroidery needle, a double strand of sewing thread, and a  small whip stitch to hand sew the top of the placket to the bodice shoulders (so it won’t show through on the bodice top).  I finished all of my seams by using a small zig-zag stitch and then cut the excess fabric with pinking shears (although I wish I had a serger to finish the seams properly!)

I am excited to make up another one, tunic length, in one of Anna Maria Horner’s cotton voiles.  But first I think I want to make the Amy Butler “Anna Tunic” (here).  I am trying to assemble a small collection of blouses to throw on with Jeans to bring on our trip to D.C. this spring.

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Finished Reading Pillow February 2, 2010

Yesterday’s mail brought with it the organic cotton fiberfil I have been waiting for…and I finished my Reading Pillow! Gift two sewn and given.  R. thoroughly enjoyed putting it to good use as soon as it was finished.  We will be taking a trip to Washington D.C. for her birthday this spring, ha ha most kids want a party but she wanted to go to the White House and to some museums (she is so my daughter!), so this pillow will be perfect for holding her book on the long car ride (how do kids read in the car and NOT get sick???)  We have never been to D.C. and are really excited about it.  We will be staying with my Aunt and Uncle and my Mom will be flying out with my Niece from California.  Do you think nine is to old to wear a birthday crown?  I love the crowns over at Frontier Dreams…I can see her now, a little birthday princess wondering the halls of the Smithsonian.

This completes gift 2 (not for any special occasion, it is a “just because” gift). My dining room is less one project…only six more W.I.P to go, all awaiting thread.  I dream of some day having my own sewing room with a wall filled with thread and another with fabric…

Have a great day!

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Sew Long… January 31, 2010

My Husband doesn’t call me his “busy bee” for nothing.  I am forever working on a project (or four or five!)  Well now I know why…I never have everything I need to finish it!  I scrimp and save and buy a piece here and there and figure, “I’ll buy that later when I need it and buy this pattern or this great fabric instead!”  Ha, ha, well my willy-nilly ways have come to bite me in the back of my tush!

I had big plans to spend the weekend sewing that “Schoolhouse Tunic” and thought I would have it finished and posted bright and early come Monday morning…I thought wrong.  I was sure I had enough thread on a dark linen (ish color) Gutermann spool but on closer inspection it wasn’t much at all.  I thought, “I’ll just order it online and use what I have until it comes.”  Great idea, unfortunately I did not have the sticker with the color number on it and apparently the number CA 20776 does not correspond to the color in any way?  Am I wrong here?  Wouldn’t you think Gutermann would put the color number on that spool somewhere so that nubes like me could reorder the same thread?  Hunh, who knew you had to save that dumb sticker?  When I searched online with the “code” (obviously put there by disgruntled Gutermann employees out for a good laugh) I came up with a dark brown color and it was definitely not the color of my thread.  Don’t think I didn’t consider driving to JoAnn Fabric’s…I did…but for one it is over an hour away and for twoD.’s car is in the shop and he is using mine for work (kind of more important than thread in his world…but of course not in mine ha, ha).  Long story short (well shorter anyway) I blindly ordered thread online for this and a few other projects (crossing my fingers and toes they are close enough in color to what I need!) and must wait to work on all of those fabulous projects for now.

So instead of spending my weekend merrily sewing, I spent it cutting (not exactly my most favorite part of sewing).  My tunic is cut and ready to go, as are two baby birthday gifts (I’ll tell you about those later), and I have a dining room table filled with half-finished projects eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next day’s mail in hopes of getting worn or used.

On the upside, I started cutting out the pieces for R.’s “Far Far Away” quilt for her birthday present.  I spent the entire afternoon “fussy cutting on the point” (a fancy way to say “cut by hand”) each of 16 six-inch squares from a template I made and cutting my charm squares on the diagonal into four equal parts.  That took all of the patience I have for today, but I have high hopes of finishing the cutting tomorrow.

D. says all of this waiting is the universe’s way of teaching me patience…that the good things in life take time and that I shouldn’t be all about “instant gratification” and blah, blah, blah.  Point taken…but can’t a girl dream of a small shop (something along the lines of Alewives Fabrics would be nice!) moving right into my sleepy little town?

PS – Have you heard that Heather Ross is coming out with a “Far Far Away, Part 2“?

Happy sewing,

Colette

 

Sew Liberated Schoolhouse Tunic January 29, 2010

My Amy Butler Daisy Chain in pink/gray came and I am ready to start cutting into that gorgeous fabric!  I spent the afternoon yesterday tracing the pattern onto Swedish tracing paper and then cutting it out.  This is the first time I’ve ever used this type of tracing paper, and I have to say I really like it!  It feels like a fabric softener dryer sheet and gently grips the fabric while you are tracing it preventing it from slipping around (I still used a few pins to keep it in place) too much. I’ve even read reviews that you can sew the entire pattern up (basting) with the tracing paper to see how it fits (sorry, but I am a bit too impatient to try this) which would be great for making up your own patterns (someday?)

R. is totally in love with the Amy Butler fabric and the tunic itself, “Mommy will you please make me a matching one?”  Oh I just adore her and am so excited she wants to be just like me!  I found a pattern for a “Sophie Tunic” by Sis Boom on Sew, Mama, Sew! that looks almost the same as the Schoolhouse Tunic only tiny.  I love that the pattern size ranges from 6mos through 11/12 (how many of those can I make as gifts?)  The only drawback is that is in PDF form which will probably be a huge hassle!  I have to say, it is really nice that the Sew Liberated patterns come in full-size and don’t have to be enlarged or pieced together with multiple sheets and tape…who has time for that?  Oh the thing we do for our little lovies!

My afternoon will be spent cutting out the fabric and hopefully this weekend I will get to move onto sewing up the tunic.

Happy Sewing,

Colette

 

Twirly Girl January 26, 2010

I have almost completely finished the Sew Liberated reading pillow for R. and I am completely in love with it!  I just have to stuff it and ladder stitch the opening (I got plenty of practice with this stitch on those sweets mats!) and she can use it.  My organic cotton fiberfil should be here any day…I ordered it in bulk from Modern Organic Fabrics Etsy Shop, as I will need it for R.’s Semi-Fantastic Mr Fox doll (btw…the kit from birdandlittlebird showed up and the fabric is so lovely!)

Why is it I am so amazed every time my project turns out like it is supposed to?  I think it is from years of frustrated sewing with horrible patterns and directions!  I really can’t tell you enough how much I love Meg’s Sew Liberated patterns!  The “Reading Pillow” is the second pattern of hers I have tried, the first was the “Twirly Skirt”.

I had originally bought the skirt pattern and the fancy fabric (which was a pain in the tush and I will NEVER work with again!!!) in October to make R. a skirt to wear in her (former) schools strings ensemble concert, because they had to wear black skirts and white blouses.  Poor thing though, when we pulled her out to homeschool they wouldn’t allow her to play violin in the concert (and she was doing a duet!) and so the pattern and fabric were just waiting in my craft armoire for an ocassion to be sewn up.

Fast forward to December…for homeschooling we were reading “Little House in the Big Woods”…the night before my friend Aimee’s annual Christmas party R. remembers the pattern and fabric and asks me to please “whip up” the skirt for her to wear.  “Uhm, excuse me love, but I cannot possibly whip it up for you in just one day.”  “But Ma (in Little House in the Big Woods) made Laura a dress in one night AND she hand-sewed it…I think you can whip one up with a machine!”  It was on, ha ha, “Ma” was certainly not going to one up me (my daughter so knows how to work me!)

Later that night I cut my fabric pieces and then the next morning sewed them together and voila, R. had her fancy twirly skirt to wear to the party.  She looked so pretty and kept twirling all night (and got lots of compliments on her skirt!)

I love this Twirly Skirt pattern and will definitely make several this spring (when it ever warms up around here) and this time use either cotton voile, double gauze, or maybe (most definitely) a Heather Ross cotton print.  I do have to say, I think this pattern runs a bit big.  I made the size 8 (after debating between the 6 and 8 ~ guess I should have gone with measurements instead of size) and fortunately tried the elastic around her waist before sewing and was able to cut off quite a bit.  As you can see, it was also a bit too long.  This spring I will first try sewing up a size 6.  Other than the sizing issue I had (on my part I am sure), the pattern worked up perfectly.

So my next pattern of hers to work up will be the “Schoolhouse Tunic”.  Just saving up to get the Amy Butler Fabric I want…I need 3 yards!  And of course, I want to make so many projects from Meg’s new book!  I am thinking I need a new duvet cover this spring and she has the sweetest one in it!

Happy sewing,

Colette