Finished Projects

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Carry On Bag

 

In fall of 2015, Mom said she needed a bag to carry her serger in and she was going to make one. I thought that sounded like a good idea, so I said I would make one with her and we planned to do it at the next retreat we were going to be at together in January.

We chose the Carry On Travel Bag from By Annie. I had never made a By Annie bag, but Mom knew people who had and said it was doable. I figured that if I could make The Weekender, then I could do this. We ordered the finishing kits and Soft and Stable from By Annie’s site. To be on the safe side, I measures our sergers and made sure they would fit in the bag. They wouldn’t. Oops! But all we had to do was increase the width by three inches. I went to work on the quilt math and figured out which pieces would need to be cut different and how much more yardage we would need. Once I had that figured out, we needed to buy fabric.

Mom bought her fabric from her local shop. I had fallen in love with the new Blueberry Park by Karen Lewis line. It was supposed to be available before January, so I ordered it. Then I waited for it to ship. I waited some more. I emailed the seller. I waited. I emailed again. Then it was December and I hadn’t had any communication, so I decided to deal with that later and buy other fabric. My friend and I were going to make a trip to Missouri Star before Christmas and I decided I would find fabric there. I ended up buying some Allison Glass fabric and I was super excited about it.

After reading all of the instructions, we were a little intimidated by the quilting that would need to be done with the Soft and Stable. We had never quilted Soft and Stable and it was just a lot of quilting. So we decided to have it long armed, which was the best decision ever. Mom had no problem getting it quilted quickly so I could pick it up while home for Christmas and cut it before the retreat in January. I got it cut the weekend before the retreat. Both of us were a little intimidated by the cutting because of the number of pieces and the fact that we had changed the dimensions of a lot. I double and triple checked everything.

Mom wasn’t able to attend the retreat because we had a sick family member. I wasn’t going to work on the bag without her, so I brought other projects and the bag had to sit until our next retreat at my place in April.

Everything worked out for the retreat in April. Mom was able to attend and we focused our entire weekend on that bag. It worked out really well. We ended up cutting everything correctly!!! Well, Mom had a few pieces that were too wide, but they could be cut down and would have been correct if our webbing had been wider. We also re-cut some stuff because we wanted to use a different fabric for the accent or binding than what the pattern called for. We both had plenty left over to allow that.

The instructions were pretty good. I would say they were better than The Weekender. A few things were frustrating and there were things we didn’t like and would do differently next time (As if there will be a next time. Ha!), but it all totally worked out. We both ended up with gorgeous bags. Mom followed the pattern and used binding to finish the edges. I’ve done a bag like that before and hated it, so I decided to line mine. It worked out great, too. Mom didn’t cover her straps because the webbing she ordered matched her fabric well, but I covered mine like the pattern calls for.

Our main suggestions of things to do differently would be around the lining and seam allowance. I would be nice if when you looked inside the bag, the fabric was consistent. The pattern is written so that it’s not and kind of looks like a jumbled mess. It’s still pretty, but not ideal. The seam allowance throughout the pattern is 1/4″. That’s not appropriate for a bag. It should be at least a half inch. I get that the 1/4″ works well with binding, but it would be better to sew the half inch and cut it down once the binding is attached. We ended up doing that and our bag was a bit smaller, but it would have been a pain to try to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance with all of the bulk.

My suggestion is for the zippers. I HATED her zipper finishing method. My mom thought it was kind of cool because it creates a little ridge that is kind of like faux piping, but it’s really hard to make it work on the inside so the seam allowance is completely hidden. I want my bag to look 100% finished and that method did not do that. I did it for a couple of zippers and said screw it for the main zipper and I’m glad I did. It was just weird.

When you are making a serious bag, during the actual bag making, you’re like, “What did I do to myself? Is this worth it?” But once you have a finished product, you’re like, “This is the best thing ever. Totally worth it!” We both felt that way about this bag since it took ALL weekend. It was the only project we both finished, but worth it. And it was great to get to do it together.

Oh…my Blueberry Park fabric arrived in March, so I still could have used it for the bag, but I would have had to get it quilted and cut the pieces out. And then I would have had two sets and I don’t think I could bring myself to make another one any time in the near future.

HEY!!!!!!

So I’ve been terribly bad lately and haven’t posted in FOREVER. I needed a break, though. I’ve kept this blog updated for years mostly for myself to keep track of things I’ve done. Besides life getting in the way (kitties, family stuff, teaching, work, etc.), I started 2016 with the goal to keep even better track of things I do from a sewing perspective. One of those is tracking completed projects, so this blog became less important to me since I was tracking it there. However, I stupidly forgot that there are other people who care about seeing what I do and they have not so gently nudged me to get back at it. So here I am! (I’m very happy and appreciative that they gave me that nudge.)

Let’s talk spreadsheets!!!!! I love spreadsheets. I love organization. It’s a perfect union. You know what else is great? Google Drive. I can store my spreadsheets (and many other things) there and access them whenever I want to from my laptop or phone. I love technology.

Some of you may know that last year (I think), I started a spreadsheet of all of my patterns and books, both digital and print, and a list of fabric that I own. I know there are Apps out there that help you do this, but I’m really fond of spreadsheets. I’ve kept that going and I have approximately 230 yards of of fabric in my stash that I haven’t yet used. The crazy part is that I have a pretty small stash if you start looking around at everyone else’s stash. Think about how many yards of fabric you have in comparison to mine. Scary, right? Basically, I need to buy more to keep up. Haha! I don’t have an exact number because that includes random cuts that may have a yard and 11 inches and I calculated it using a yard and a quarter. Or a layer cake – that’s a little more than three yards, but I just calculated three. The total number of cuts/pieces/items is 241. The list has come in handy many times when I was in a fabric shop and trying to determine if I needed to buy something or not. Elizabeth will be happy to hear that the biggest portion of my stash is from Modern Makers. 🙂

 

Fabric List

 

I also have a link to an image of the fabric and notes.

For patterns and books, I have 315 of them and 179 of them are digital. All of the digital patterns or books are stored on my Google Drive so I can access them for fabric requirements if needed.

 

Patterns and Books

 

I used to have a column with a link to the website, but I got tired of adding it and ended up never using it, so it’s currently hidden.

Starting this year, I’ve added a Sewing Spend, Sewing Income, Sewing Finishes, and WIPs spreadsheet. I’m not going to tell you what I’ve made and what I’ve spent, but I am ahead right now! I have made 102 things since the start of this year. I didn’t start all in 2016, but I finished them in 2016. There have been 110 days in the year so I’m not quite at a project a day. And I have 54 WIPs, so I have plenty to keep me busy.

 

Finishes

 

WIPs

 

I hope that gives you a little insight into how my weird brain works. For me, these lists have been very helpful, but I could see how they could be overwhelming for some. I find them calming.

Sometime I don’t want to do anything but watch Netflix or Amazon Prime , but then my crazy little mind can’t do that without making me feel guilty for not being productive. I know…I have issues. People wonder why I’m so productive. It’s because I can’t stop. I have to be doing something…pretty much always. I fill up my entire day with activities. Work, gym, sewing, cleaning, whatever. Don’t worry. It’s not just me. My dad and my sister are the exact same way.

 

 

Crocheting

 

Anyway, I have a gray slouchy hat that I wear all of the time. It’s my go to accessory if I don’t want to shower on one day of the weekend. But I need to expand my options. I’m really into this color – along with the rest of the world. The hat took no time to whip up. I really like how it fits and lays. I added two extra dc rows to give it a bit more slouch, but I’m not sure if it needs it. I like this pattern even better than the one I made before. The pattern is The Hadley Slouch that I found on Ravelry. The gloves were also super easy, as the pattern says. They are the Simple Fingerless Gloves, also on Ravelry. Finally, the boot cuffs were also super quick to crochet and also from Ravelry. I love Ravelry – can you tell? The pattern is the Scalloped Boot Cuffs. I haven’t worn the gloves or the cuffs yet, but the hat has gotten a couple of wears already. It’s not quite cold enough for the other two, but I’m sure it will be soon.

I think I’ll do some more crocheting. I really enjoyed it and I seem to get really into it during the winter. Look forward to more projects like that.

I’ve done some serious sewing while at retreats lately. I had a retreat at my place and then while I was at the Crafty Weekender retreat, I knocked out some apparel items for myself and then I came home and made some sweaters for #Hashtag since it’s starting to get cold. The poor baby has been waking me up in the middle of the night so I’ll let him under the covers so he can snuggle with me. I really enjoy the snuggling, but not the getting woken up part. Haha.

 

Blouse

 

The first apparel item that I worked on during the Crafty Weekender retreat was the Oakride Blouse. I’m going to be brutally honest here. I totally LOVE wearing this blouse. It fits so perfectly and the rayon drapes so well and it feels so awesome. I think I look awesome in it. I love wearing it. But I hated making it and I hate how it’s finished. I want to be kind because I know people love Sewaholic patterns, but I’m less than impressed. I searched online for some guidance for some parts and wasn’t able to find much there either. First, there aren’t any pictures. If I want to make a pattern that doesn’t have pictures or illustrations, I’ll buy the $2 pattern from the large pattern companies. I feel that indie pattern companies should include more. I pay more; I should get more. And not only were there no pictures, but the instructions weren’t great. I know this probably isn’t considered a beginner pattern and I don’t consider myself a beginner, but there were parts I struggled with and had to read a few times and play around with the actual garment to figure out. Again, if I wanted to struggle with instructions, I’d buy a Burda pattern. I pay money for indie patterns so I don’t have to do weird interpretations. Finally, the last thing I hate is the finishes. The instructions don’t have you finish this well. I feel like it’s homemade. I want my apparel items to feel like ready to wear clothes. I want them to have those finishes. This felt amateur. I could take the time to modify the instructions to make it finish how I wanted, but I’ll say this again and again, I shouldn’t have to for a $14 pattern. I could see doing that for a $2 pattern. So I want to make this again because I love wearing it, but I probably won’t because I didn’t enjoy making it. In fact, I hated making it. I have one more Sewaholic pattern I’m going to try out (Minoru) and if I don’t like that one, I won’t be supporting them anymore and I certainly won’t be recommending them to anyone.

 

Raglan

 

Raglan

 

Raglan

 

 

I made another raglan and this time I added a hood, kangaroo pocket, and thumb holes. It’s loud, but I think it will be perfect for working out this winter. This fabric is also from LDG Showroom and it is soooooo soft on the inside. It will be super warm if I go running or walking outside. Plus, it will look great with leggings. This fabric is not the easiest to work with so some things aren’t perfect, but it was a good experience. I’ll definitely do the hood, pocket, and thumb holes again, but I’ll use a more stable knit. I made this  during a sewing weekend with Amy and my friend Coo. I also made my Halloween quilt that weekend.

 

Dolman

 

The Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates is my favorite shirt pattern ever. EVER. I’m serious. I could wear one of these every day. And I almost do. I made this plain black one specifically to wear with my leopard leggings. Doesn’t it look awesome? I lengthened it just a bit so it would totally cover my bum. I’m very conscious about my bum being covered. This is the same Robert Kaufman knit that I used on the skull shirt. I made this during the Crafty Weekended retreat.

 

Dolman

 

Dolman

 

Isn’t this one fabulous? The stripes kill me. The mustard kills me. I totally love it. It’s a sweater knit that I purchased from Girl Charlee. It’s super comfy and I love the look. I couldn’t be happier. Also, these shirts go together soooo quickly. That’s why I have so many and why I was able to make so many in one weekend even while sewing and visiting with friends.
Dolman

 

Dolman

 

I didn’t have enough fabric to make a long sleeved one, so I added some pleather. This sweater knit is from LDG Showroom. It’s also very comfortable and I love the colors. The pleater sucked to worked with. I think I’m done working with pleather. My sewing machine doesn’t like it. My serger hates it. I’ve tried the needle. I’ve tried the foot. I’ve messed with tension. I’ve changed thread. I’ve messed with it enough. I love the look, but I hate the process. It will have to be a pretty special thing for me to work with pleather again. I love this shirt, though, so I guess it was worth it this time. I think this was the second project I worked on during the weekend retreat with Amy and Coo.

You’ve heard me talk about the School of Sewing book on here multiple times. That’s because it’s the best book ever. I recommend it to everyone whether they’ve been sewing for years or just started. I think it’s the best. And I’ve been teaching out of it and that’s awesome, too. And I’m taking my teaching to the next level.

Starting in January, I will be offering a beginning sewing class  and an advanced beginner sewing class through Park Hill Community Education. Their Winter catalog isn’t out yet, but it should be soon and these two classes will be listed. Modern Sewing for Beginners starts on January 20th and consists of five sessions on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm. The next class is Modern Sewing for Advanced Beginners and starts on March 9th and consists of five sessions also on Wednesdays from 6-9 pm. All of the details will be in the catalog and I’ll link to it on my class page once it’s available. Both classes are using projects from School of Sewing exclusively. Cool, right?

I’ve made a lot of things from School of Sewing, but I hadn’t made them all. I figured I probably better. So I started at the beginning. Where it made sense, I went ahead and did the extra credit version.

 

Pillowcase

 

I’ve made pillowcases before, so this took like 10 minutes total. I added the flange, but I probably won’t have the students do that.

 

Bag

 

I had made this bag previously, so I didn’t have to do it again. I didn’t want to purchase the additional pattern, so I didn’t make any other sizes. I don’t think it’s necessary anyway.

 

Apron

 

I had also made the apron previously, so that was another immediately completion. Again, I didn’t do the extra credit because I really don’t need a child size apron. This one I made for Andrew, but I wear it, too.

 

School of Sewing

 

I’ve made TONS and TONS of these fobs, but I’m actually out right now so I whipped two up…both the regular and extra credit versions. I’ve made a lot of zipper pouches, too, so this was super easy. I drew the applique myself and it turned out really well. Easy Peasy.

 

Pillow

 

I’ve made pillows with zippers before, but this one was a bit different. I like it. I also like having binding on it.
Clutch

 

Clutch

 

I didn’t do the extra credit version of this either. I don’t need a bigger bag. This turns out fabulous. I was being an idiot while sewing it together and ended up ripping a lot out, but that’s probably because it was late and I was talking a lot. I wasn’t excited about this, but I was once I was finished. It’s cute.

 

Tablet Case

 

Tablet Case

 

So I’m an idiot again and can’t read directions, so I did the measurements wrong the first time, so I made it again. I still like how the first one looks, but I’m totally in love with the second one. That Cotton + Steel fabric combo is amazing. I’m not a big novelty fabric fan, but that makes me like it a bit. I think the first one would fit a Microsoft Surface possibly.

 

Tote

 

This is my all time favorite project from the book, I think. I did just a little bit of quilting. I used Linen for the handles and that was awesome. I love love love it.

 

Purses

 

So I’ve taught this as a class before so I have three of these. One purse and two totes. I use the totes all of the time. I think I rounded the corners on one and then boxed the corners on another.

 

Place Mats

 

These place mats look awesome, but I had to make another set. The shot cotton really moved with the quilting. And I got the selvage of the linen showing on the back of one.

 

Place Mats

 

Place Mats

 

So I dug into some of my favorite recent fabric purchases and made these. They are going to go on our dining room table. It’s small and round so I only have two place settings for it, which is perfect for us. Not that we cook or eat dinner there. Haha.

Finally, I’m not making the quilt and I’m not teaching it as part of these two classes. I teach Quilting 101 at Modern Makers and it uses that part of the book so I’d rather not compete with myself. Haha. I will recommend that people take that class through Modern Makers, though. I’m not making the quilt because I’ve made zillions of half square triangles in the last few years and I have plenty of quilts that I can show off that are close enough.

So I’ve now sewn entirely through School of Sewing. It was fun and I’m excited for the classes.

 

Linden

 

Linden

 

Speaking of classes, I taught another Linden class at Modern Makers. I had three students, but I was only able to get a pictures of these two. Everybody did a great job and left with a finished sweatshirt. The third lady didn’t like the top stitching on her neckline, so she was going to take it out when she got home, which is why I don’t have a picture. I’m in LOVE with the blue one. That Kokka knit is fantastic. I’m going to buy some, but I have to prepare myself for that type of expense. It’s’ worth it though.

Look forward to hearing more about upcoming classes!

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