Category Archives: Crafty

Productive Weekend…

Hi everyone! I’ve had a rather productive weekend, so I thought I’d share my creations with you.Rebecca Bag

First up, I made the Rebecca bag from Carry With Style… published by Indygo Junction. A friend of mine asked me to make a bag for her, so I’ll be parting with it tomorrow. I’m going to be sad to lose it – I’ve become quite attached to it! She chose the colors and I raided my stash looking for the perfect fabrics. I came up with lovely brown tooled suede (you may recognize it – it worked up beautifully into a handkerchief sachet not too long ago) and deep blue stretch twill. The fabric rose and special pintucked interior pockets are my own inventions.

This is my first experiment with bold topstitching. I usually choose a thread that blends in well with the fabric. Previously, I haven’t been completely confident in my topstitching skills, and matching thread helps hide mistakes! This time, I went all out and used a double thread and the longest stitch on my machine for the contrast topstiching. I’m so happy with the result. Make sure you click through the photo and see the detail shots on my Flickr page.

For the interior pockets, I did a bit of inventing. I’ve been making bags for about 5 years now and have come to the conclusion that all handmade bags should have interior pockets of some kind. Even if they are only just to hold keys, the pockets should be there. Following that idea, I started looking at the shape of the bag for inspiration on the pocket style.

Small Interior PocketFor the single small pocket: I traced the curve of the top of the bag pattern onto a sheet of paper and sketched a U to complete the shape. Then, I folded and pinned the little tucks, making sure they were evenly spaced along the curve. I measured 2″ down from the top of each tuck and marked it with a pin. Next, I sewed the tucks 1/8″ away from the fold and down to the pin at 2″. I pressed them in place and ironed out the pocket. Then, I cut a backing piece using the front piece as a template. I sewed these two pieces right sides together, leaving a 3″ gap at the bottom between the corner curves. I turned it right-side out and pressed. All that was left was to topstitch the pocket in place on the lining piece.

Large Interior PocketsThe large pockets are two smaller pockets that I sketched together on one pattern piece and worked up the same way.

Next, I refashioned a plain brown t-shirt to match my Vintage Vogue suit. I was inspired by this dress from Lucitebox:


I’ve been dying to find a special use for these square covered buttons I found in the upholstery section of Joann’s.shirt before

I used my machine for sewing the tabs together before I turned them right side out. But, for attaching the tabs to the shirt, I hand sewed everything. It didn’t take long at all. I’m thrilled with the result. t shirt after

Finally, I added some gathered frills to a blouse I made last summer, (Simplicity New Look 6945) but have never worn. The neckline was lower than I liked, so I bought some eyelet trim and gathered it around the neckline to raise it up. (Before photo on my Flickr page)Top after

I haven’t been this productive in a while. For the past week, my head has been swimming in moles, masses and polyatomic ions, so I haven’t felt much like sewing. I had a bit of a break this weekend because tomorrow starts my last week of Chemistry, with the final exam on Thursday. Going to have to do some massive studying, but it’ll be all done soon! Hope you all had a lovely weekend – productive or otherwise!


Filed under Crafty, Sewing

Pay it Forward Challenge

Come one, come all for the Pay it Forward Challenge! I stumbled upon this challenge on Snowbell Handmade’s blog and it seems such a lovely idea, I decided to give it a whirl. I’ve been dying to do another giveaway for ages, and here’s a perfect chance. :)

The fine print:

I am entering into the following contract with the first 5 people to comment on this post and then commit to do the same on their blog. Just read below and if you feel up to the task, copy the following into your blog and leave me a comment. (International entries welcome!)

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. Whatcha get is whatcha get. (Although I will try to make something I think you will like!)

2. What I create for you will be just for you, with love. (ie, one-of-a-kind)

3. It’ll be done this year (2009) (for me, hopefully by the end of the summer!)

4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber.

5. I reserve the right to do something strange or weird. (This is in the contract, but I’m not really going to do anything strange or weird.)

6. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to your post.

7. Send me your mailing address (I’ll send my first 5 emails requesting it.)
Can’t wait to see who responds first! Happy Wednesday, my friends!


Filed under Crafty, Giveaway, Pick-me-ups

Exciting deviations…

Thanks to two lovely ladies (Fleur and Casey), I found out about this amazing sundress, which is up for grabs in a giveaway over at Grosgrain!

"It is made from 100% cotton red, blue yellow and white plaid seersucker with 100% cotton eyelet lace underskirt. The underskirt is attached at the waistline and really fills out the skirt nicely. It has lace detail around the bottom edge of the seek sucker, the back and top edges of the bodice and two bows where the spaghetti straps attach in the front." - from Grosgrain

It has been designed by Loose Teeth, who has a full line of equally exciting garments for sale in her Etsy shop.  I’ve fallen hard for the Lolita Sailor Playsuit.  After looking at all of her items, I’m dying for a day at the beach, just so I could wear something cute. :)

The best part of this giveaway is that the dress is going to be custom sized to fit the winner.  So, ladies of all shapes and sizes can have fun with this one!  What are you waiting for? Hop on over to Grosgrain and enter for yourself!

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Filed under Crafty, Giveaway, Pick-me-ups

Headbands and Sachet Set

I got my little headbands all finished!  It was touch and go there for a while.  I though maybe I wouldn’t finish them in time for the event where I was going to see my 5-year-old friend.  It all worked out, though.  :)  Have a look at the finished product.

I fashioned a “headband sachet” (a play on handkerchief sachet) out of the pink bandanna fabric and the remainder of the pink taffeta from the Vogue jacket.  I have a handkerchief sachet that is this same size and it served as my model.  My version has satin ribbon ties and an iron on embroidery initial.  I also used fusible fleece on the wrong side of the bandanna fabric to give the sachet more body.  It worked out well and has a great aesthetic feel when you hold it.

I treated the edges of the ribbon with Fray Check, because there is absolutely nothing worse than frayed edges on ribbon.  It’s one of my sewing pet peeves.  I just think it ruins the whole look of the piece.  I feel that if, as a sewer, you’re going to go to the trouble of making something lovely, it should be as professional and finished looking as possible.

The inside of the sachet – It has two pockets for keeping headbands and other treasures.  I’ve heard that some ladies used their sachets as hiding places for love letters and other sentimental items.  I think that’s a lovely idea.

If you’d like to make headbands of your own, have a look at Heather Bailey’s instructions.

Happy Sunday, my dears!


Filed under Crafty, Sewing

Inspiration Board

I’ve got so many ideas swirling around in my head right now.  It’s getting hard to think of anything else, so I figured I’d share them with all of you.  Then, maybe I’ll be able to put them to rest until I can complete them.

First up – two vintage patterns I recently acquired that I’m terribly excited about.

The Advance 2973 dress pattern is a style that I’ve been dreaming about making.  The long lines are great for trimming the figure and the lovely billowy sleeves are amazing.  I was thinking of doing my first version in soft pink.  What color/pattern would you choose?

The McCalls 2060 playsuit pattern is just for fun.  I wasn’t looking for a playsuit, but when I saw it I couldn’t resist.  When I make it up, I’ll lengthen the shorts some, because I like my shorts a little longer.  I’m not too crazy about the appliques, so I’ll probably go plain.  Wouldn’t it be cute in red gingham with a red belt and red sandals?  :)

The center Simplicity 6825 pattern was a lovely gift from the seller on Etsy.  It’s a lovely dress.  I always adore lace sleeves and insets.

Then, I’ve been investigating accessories for the Vogue suit.  I decided while I was making it that I wanted to do a matching hat, but I was undecided about which kind.  That’s when I came across Mary Beth’s post on her class to make fedoras.  I knew I’d found my perfect hat.  I’m going to use Vogue 8175, since (as Mary Beth says) it is a better pattern.

Then, for a purse I’m still undecided.  The pattern envelope of the suit (Vogue 2885) has a terribly intriguing purse on it, (look at the lady with the red jacket) but I’d have to draft the pattern for that one myself.  I can do it, and I’ve done it before, but I may not have time to conquer that one right now.  If I can find a pattern I like as much or better, I’ll make it instead.  (Suggestions welcome!)

Next, I got these lovely fabrics for a set of headbands I’m planning on gifting to a 5-year-old friend of mine. :)  I’ve made headbands from Heather Bailey’s pattern before and they are so cute and so simple (incidentally, if you’ve never seen her blog, it’s truly worth a look).

Finally, I’m finishing up a huge crochet stole that I made over Christmas out of the softest, dark green, chenille yarn.  I just have to sew the satin blanket binding around the edges to give it stability.  I made it from this vintage pattern and it worked up beautifully.

I’ve got other little ideas nagging at me, but these are “The Big Four.”  I’ll probably be tackling the headbands first, since those are for someone else.  After that, it’s the stole.  It won’t take much to finish that, so it’s an easy feeling of accomplishment.  :)


Filed under Crafty, Fashion Backward, Sewing

Tassel Keychain 101

Don't you just love these quirky images?

Ever since I saw Des’s post on Hermes inspired tassel key chains a while ago, I was determined to give her method a try.  First, I had to venture into an op-shop (translation for American friends: thrift shop.  I learned this fun term from my New Zealand bloggie friends :) ) to search out some leather pants to convert.  I was truly hoping for some exciting colors, like Hermes uses, but I only found neutral colors.  I did luck out and find two separate pairs – one in black, one in brown.  They cost me $14 total, which is quite cheap, considering a real Hermes keyring sells for £120 (almost $180!).

My brother had a whole length of key rings I could use, so I didn’t have to buy those and my glue gun has been a staple of my crafting kit for a while.

The only change I made to Des’s method was to cut my fringe narrower.  My fringe measures only about 1/8 – 1/4 inch wide.  I didn’t actually measure each one – years of sewing has made me pretty good at judging measurements. :)

Here’s my take on Des’s idea:

After trying this first one and seeing how easy it was to put together, I decided to make lots more. I kept looking at the top band and feeling that it needed something to dress it up, so I added a matching leather bow.  The bow is very simple:  just a rectangle of leather, scrunched at the middle, with another leather piece wrapped around the center to hold it together.  The center part is made by cutting a long rectangle, about 2 by 4 inches.  Fold in both the long sides 1/4 of an inch and glue down.  Then, fold the whole piece down the center along the long edge to create a long strip of edgeless leather goodness.

I even started improvising on the theme and making pom poms instead of tassels.  In a way, I think I like the pom poms better.

Well, that’s my latest crafty adventure.  Let me know what you think.  Comments and suggestions are always appreciated!  :)


Filed under Crafty