Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Pouches and Wallets

On of the reasons that I have not posted very much recently is that I had to get a new laptop.  I somehow managed to bend/break a connection inside where the power cable goes, so charging it up has beed very iffy.  I now have a lovely MacBook Air, and what a nightmare I have had with photos.  I used to use Picasa as it did the two or three things that I want from a photo editing programme - straighten, resize, and make collages.  I then uploaded these photos into my blog and all was good.

Unfortunately the MacBook does not play nice with Picasa - it duplicates photos, and I have no idea how to consistently upload them.  Grrr.  Oh well, I think I have it sorted now, but it is not at all intuitive . . . . . any top tips from other MacBook users would be appreciated! 

Now back to the normal programming . . . . .  Recently I have had quite a blast making pouches, wallets and handbags, so let me share with you!

First up are a couple of wallets and I bought the pattern from Etsy, here.

It is a quick and easy pattern, and very effective. The first one I made is the one on the top, made out of two Amy Butler FQ's. I used co-ordinating plastic snaps (Babyville from Fabricland) and I was slightly off centre with the print . . . . meh.  Can't get excited about that! 
The second one is made out of 2 FQ's by 3 Sisters for Moda and is called Atelier. I LOVE this fabric - and bought it from Hamel's at the recent Creative Stitches show. 
There are three pockets in the wallet - perfect for a few coins and/or cards. They are quite small, about 4.5" x 3.5" x 1.5", and are a quick and fun make. I think that would be perfect 'card holders' for gift cards this Christmas . . . . . just saying!

Next up was a Clobird Fiona folding wallet that currently resides in my handbag!  I got the pattern from Craftsy, and this is also made out of some Amy Butler FQ's.  The design is very clever, and uses some thick stabilizer that is added after stitching - it makes for a much easier sew, and looks very professional - well, I think so!!!

I am making another one for the mother of one of my work colleagues, it will be in black and red . . . . I wish I could use patterned fabric but I really don't want to argue with an elderly Scottish lady!  

And then I made another Swoon pattern - this time it was the Coraline - a fun little clutch, fully lined with a recessed zip:

I've not tried recessed zips before, and this was on a curve as well, so it was good to learn a new technique - I certainly need to practice more though, the zip was a little wavy!

Finally, I also have some dressmaking fabric on the table waiting to be cut out.  I see a Tina Givens 'Patricia' skirt in my near future, I've kind of lost my sewing clothing mojo, so making these cute wallets works out nicely for me!

What have you been sewing?  Is your Autumn sewing coming along well?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Well Helloooooooo Ethel!

Aren't you a lovely little thing?

I have recently taken a slight detour from dressmaking and made some lovely bags, wallets and pouches . . . . and this is the lovely Ethel.  This is a pattern by Swoon, and they have some most delicious ideas, my crystal ball tells me that there will be a number of these bags in my future!  The pattern is free - so if you fancy dipping your toes in the bag making world - you can't go too far wrong here!

The fabric is from Ikea is a decor weight, and I used the recommended 20” wide fusible woven interfacing (Pellon Shapeflex SF101) where required and fusible batting instead of foam as I'm not too sure where I can get the foam, here in Canada.

The interfacing provides a surprising amount of stability but it is not rigid at all.  The fusible batting is, of course, lovely.  There are two large pockets on the front - somewhat hidden in the photo above due to some nifty pattern matching, but you can see a bit here:

There are also two pockets inside as well - just perfect!  The straps are a great length for throwing the bag over my shoulder - my preferred mode of carrying!

I love this bag, and am planning the next version - hmm, what fabric to use next?

Have you made any bags?  What is your favourite shape?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Haute Handbags

Gosh, was that Summer over and done?  It certainly was a lovely Summer, but I'm thinking that we have now seen the best of it.  The nights are drawing in, and we have even had to switch the heating on a couple of times.  While I deliberate over what my Autumn sewing will look like (I do have a couple of other Summer Lagelook items to photograph and show you), I saw this magazine on the racks . . . . and I was inspired to play:

And inside I saw this bag (and yes - those are tabs marking a few other bags that I may have a go at making!):

Here it is a bit closer:

There are a few patterns in the magazine - unfortunately this was not one of them, so I made my own, using dimensions from a pretty bag I bought back from Australia a couple of years ago.  I used a couple of bundles of fat squatters that were for sale in my local craft shop.  The fabric was a canvas/denim weight and comprised of white, denim blue and stripe.

Here is my version:

It is probably about 12" square and I lined it with some striped shirt fabric left over from another project.  You can just about make out the internal pockets - there are three or four on each side to keep my odds and ends in so hopefully I won't need to rummage around for things too much!  the outer layer has some fusble fleecy facing attached (the type that I use when I make small bags and pouches).  The hessian and white band  are on the front only and the hessian came on a roll - it is about 6" wide.  I retro-fitted  the magnetic closing.  I wasn't going to have one but the bag gaped open and a closure was required.  Fortunately I turned the bag through the lining at the bottom, so it was easy enough to unpick that seam, add the closure, and then sew it back up again.  I have not trailed the bag yet - I will take it for a spin, and if the dimensions work out, I'll make another in more 'un-summery' colours!

Next week I am off on another bra making class with Bra Makers Supply in Hamilton Ontario, where I will be learning how to make alterations to 'fit every body'  Can't wait!  The ladies at the shop are lovely, so I made a few pouches for them out of some bra patterned fabric . . . .

I have made six in total - I hope they like them!

How is your sewing coming along?  Have you moved into Autumnal sewing yet?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Oh Cara!

It has been a few weeks since I have made anything due to visitors (it was lovely taking them around Calgary and up to the mountains though - so no complaints!) and it was great having time to settle in my sewing room this weekend and get some sewing done.  I had a pair of Phoebe trousers and a Sorbetto top already cut out (sorry Ruth, I do love your Bamtams though and may have to give them a try soon!) - they have patiently been waiting their time to get sewn - in light blue linen/rayon and I also wanted to try the new Tina Givens pattern - Cara.  And this is what I made:

Off White Cara & Blue Phoebe Trousers

It is hard to see in these photos, but the Cara slip has two front and two back pieces so the slip is bisected horizontally between the waist and hip.

(this is the closest that I could get to a line drawing - this is taken from the instructions)

There are four points (two front and two back) and a pocket that is in the front horizontal seam.  I chose to have in-seam pockets in the side-seams and edged the neck, arm and hems with 1.5" raw edged bias binding folded in half.

I found the neckline to be a bit higher than the Jaqueline and the shoulders to be wider, giving more coverage.  I liked that!  This top is pretty wide as it flares out from the underarm.  I think for future versions I may tame this a little.

It does, of course, work really well as a layer and can be seen above with my blue Phoebe trousers (another of the five items made this weekend) and my altered Phoebe jacket (which I have just noticed that I haven't posted about as yet) . . . . not to mention a TG inspired necklace made out of Lapis Lazuli chips.

Finally with this top, the finishing touch was to add a label out of some printed linen, with my label on top.  This is the inside view, and I love it!

White Cara

With this version I chose to add some of the details from the Cara trousers - a pleated triangle insert and triangular patch pockets.

Another label - call me narcissistic, I don't mind!!  The printed fabric is from some Ikea pillowcases.  We buy the 'on sale' bedding and use it to cover the duvets that form the bedding for our greyhounds.  The pillows don't get used, so they were perfect for the labels!

You can just about make out the triangle on front - there is a better pic with the blue top!  Another great, basic slip that will work with lots of trousers and jackets.

Blue Cara

You can see the volume with this version - as much as I love it, I don't think that it looks so good without a jacket.  In seam pockets again, I prefer them to the triangle ones on the white version.

And I ran out of binding.  I thought about hunting around for some leftover blue fabric, finding the diagonal and cutting a strip . . . . and then I saw some pattern binding already cut . . . . so I used that!  I don't think that it looks too shabby!  You can see how I attach the binding - a three stitch zigzag.  It has held up pretty well on other garments - so far!

Here is the back view and the patch that is on the right side of the fabric, with my label being on the wrong side.

Looks pretty good with a jacket (I am trying to get away from the scrubs look - not sure if I am succeeding!)

Here you can see the attached triangle.  There is one centre front and one centre back.  A little funky!

Blue Sorbetto

Nothing much to say about the blue Sorbetto.  It is blue.  And makes a nice alternative to longer slips.

I have quite a few so I mix them in with my Phoebe trousers and jackets!

Finally, I wanted to show the new necklace that I made using some cultured pearls and a key . . . .!

Phew, lot of photos - hope I didn't loose you part way through!  Although we are in the middle of a gloriously hot summer, I think I may have to turn my thoughts to Autumn,  How about you - are you still sewing Summer?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


For the last three weeks we have had visitors from the UK and although this has seriously impacted my sewing time, it has meant that I have had a ball travelling around this fabulous Province that I live in.  Want to see some pics?

 The Parade for the Calgary Stampede.

 A Lancaster Plane at the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton.

 Old Grain Elevators in Nanton, AB.

 My Uncle Ed, his lovely lady Heather, and me wearing some of my TG clothes!

Stunningly beautiful Lake Louise.

A shed!  I got me a shed!  It will be a work in progress, but I plan on taking my treadle machine out here, so I can sew in the garden!

The Largest Dinosaur in the World!  Drumheller.

 Royal Tyrell Dinosuar Musuem in Drumheller.

 A real, live grizzly bear near Vermillion Lakes.

 View from Banff Springs Hotel - this is a 'panorama' pic so the perspective is a little wonky!

Canola fields on the Prairies - just down the road from my house.

 Looking down from Mt Norquay over the Banff Townsite.

Uncle Ed and Dad looking down over Vermillion Lakes where we saw the bear.

Phew!  It was fun looking back over the pics and realising just how much travelling we did.  This does not show the malls that we visited, various restaurants, Atlas Mines, Sheep River Falls etc., etc., etc!  It certainly highlights how comfy we have become - doing things around the house, not moving far from home, but boy, I'm exhausted!  I'm looking forward to getting down to business and doing some sewing again!  I picked up some patterns during the most recent Tina Givens sale, so can't wait to get cracking with them!  Also, have you seen the most recent post on the Curvy Sewing Collective?  It's all about Lagenlook - do take a look!

How has your summer been?