Monday, January 16, 2012


So, I've been fairly absent from the blogging world recently. Both posting and reading. I guess that's what happens when you start and new job, live in two different cities, and are packing to move all at the same time. I sat down tonight to write a post (I have two more Christmas projects to share), but each project has pictures on my camera that I want to include, and my camera is not currently in the same city as me. So for now I guess I will just say hello, and let you know that I am still around, and still have things to say, but just not at this current moment.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Presents: Part 1

Well, here it is. The big reveal. It's time to show off my Christmas crafts. First up, the bags. Awhile ago my friend Sarah showed me a tutorial online for a bag she liked the looks of. I looked it over, found some matching fabric in my stash, and went to work.

The tutorial came from fat quarter Friday at 2 Little Hooligans. It was very straightforward and easy to follow. One of the things it called for was bias tape, and it said you could either use premade, or make your own. This intrigued me, so I did some research online, and gave it a whirl.
I used this site to make the strips and this site to fold them without needing a bias tape maker. These were also easy to follow. I used a 12"x12" square to make enough bias tape for the project. The first time I sewed the fabric in a loop I didn't account for the seam allowance when I matched up the lines, but that was easily fixed.

This was the goal. Courtesy of 2 Little Hooligans.

I first did up a sample to make sure I could put things together and get everything to work. I just used what I could find for the lining, which was a combination of fleece and flannel. The only real problem I had with this project was that I broke a needle sewing two of the side together. On each side there was the background fabric, the lining(2 layers), the pocket fabric(2 layers), the lining of the pocket, and the bias tape(2 layers). It was a little much for my machine to handle. I also made the mistake of not finding the end of the needle before continuing. It was stuck in my machine and caused a few problems. The sample turned out nicely, and I took it to Sarah to get her input. Since I was taking the time to make it, I wanted her opinion, about what would be useful. I did modify the pattern to put a pocket on the inside.

This was my test run.

Once I knew the project was attainable, I went fabric shopping. That meant a trip to Joann's in the states. I bribed my husband with dinner and Captain Crunch to get him to go with me. After that I set to work again. Sarah said she didn't want an inside pocket, but thought she could benefit from another pocket on the outside, so that's what I did. This time I also bought interfacing, hoping not to break another needle. This definitely helped.

Here's the real deal.

Since I had shown her the prototype, that kind of took the surprise out of the gift. Sarah loves Christmas, and she loves gift giving, so I decided I needed to do something more to make it special. Enter the Scrappy Clutch. I found this tutorial over at From an Igloo. I got a few extra supplies at the fabric store so I could also make this. This time I didn't do a test run because there were too many materials that weren't easily substitutable. This project was also my first zipper. I was a little nervous about that, but it went pretty well. Again, this tutorial was well laid out, and easy to follow. The only problem I had with it, was turning it right-side out at the end. This was because I forgot to leave the zipper open, so there was no opening. I had to do a little seam ripping to fix it. The other thing was that the needle on my sewing machine was almost too far in to fit the inside of the bag around and sew the top part to the bottom. Overall I was happy with things, and would probably make this again. The only change I would make is that I might make the bottom part a little skinnier.