Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mamma knows best

I'm on a roll with these song titles! I would say I would stop, but I'd probably be lying.

This new pocketbook was for my DDIL's birthday.  I actually managed to plan and execute the plan in time to get it to her on time! Whoot Whoot! Ask my kids - I'm not real good at the executing in time part. Her birthday was last week so I can post now.

This is a Studio Kat Design (love supporting NC businesses), it's the DittyRoo pattern, 'cause it's got a kangaroo pouch on the front, doncha know?  You can find it here and she has lots of beautiful samples on her website.  This is the second of this pattern I have made and I really enjoy it although I don't recommend it for a beginner. You know, unless it's a determined beginner.

  1. Lots of well marked pattern pieces.
  2. Very good directions and illustrations that are clear.
  3. It's a good size, slightly slouchy, and easily embellished.
  4. Love the straps and have used a variation on other bags that I have made. 

  1. Lots of pieces.  For instance, there are 3 pieces in back of that kangaroo pouch.  I didn't really see the point unless you were running low on your main fabric, so I cut another piece like the back and used that. Also the pattern adds seams in the lining for pockets.  Not necessarily bad, just unnecessary IMO.  I cut 2 lining pieces using the back pattern and applied/topstitched pockets on the solid piece.
  2. The balloon edging is "fiddly".  Like I said the pieces are well-marked and there are lots of match points, but matching the edging to the top of the pattern and then gathering seems like a lot of work.  I tried measuring the top edge and using elastic cut to that length for my gathering, then feeding the piping through that.  I had mixed results - there are just a bunch of layers on the top edges.  I am still studying a better way to do this on the next one.
  3. Also the 2 small loops holding the d-rings to the bag are really "fiddly".  You sew one end in the seam, feed the ring on, and then topstitch the edges of the loop encasing the 2 ends of the edging fabric and piping inside.  Trying to get and keep all those layers lined up and seam lines matched was enough to make me cross-eyed with annoyance.  Studying on a better way to do that also.

(Funny aside - when my husband asked how it was going, I told him it was OK, but some of the process was very fiddly.  He looked at me strangely and asked "Is that a sewing term?" I thought everyone had heard that description of a fussy process, but apparently its just me.)

Overall I really like this pattern and as I said I've made it twice and plan at least one more (the one I made for myself it about worn out and needs replacing) it's just that it seems like there must be an easier way to do some of it.  I made DDIL's out of a faux suede that's been in the stash forever, the balloon edging was left over from some valances I made 3-4 years ago, and the kangaroo pocket and lining is  quilting weight cotton also from the stash.

My DD agreed to help photograph it before it was mailed -

Inside -

And, outside - 

And just for fun, an imitation of DDIL opening and pulling out her present -


Friday, October 25, 2013

Mamma's got a brand new bag!

So I've been frustrated with sewing clothing - The Weight - she comes and goes and changes ALL my measurements along the way.  I have some serious body frustration issues going on right now, but I won't go into all that, at least not today. So not much fashion sewing going here. But, on the other hand, bags, totes, purses, carryalls, and as they are called here in my neck of the woods, pocketbooks, do not have to fit body parts that can't decide what size they want to be.*

Several weeks (months maybe) ago sewmamasew.com had an online sewing bee.  I loved watching the competition and the projects that stemmed from that.  One of them was this pocketbook - It's a Cinch Tote - you can find it here.  Loved the look of this pattern, nice and roomy, kinda slouchy, had instructions for pockets, it's perfect for embellishing AND there was a coupon code. HA! and HA!

The pattern was a PDF download - can anyone say woohoo for instant gratification! There are no pattern pieces, per se, just instructions about what size pieces to cut out. I was OK with that, the pieces were all square and rectangular and anyone who has followed a quilt pattern should find it pretty easy.  The instructions were great, very clear and easy to follow, the one gripe I did have is that the pictures do not line up with the corresponding picture.  So if you, like me, tend to breeze along looking at the pictures/illustrations and only read the instructions when there is a question, this may cause a slight issue.

I made the bag as published the first time and over-all am very happy with it.  I have been carrying it everyday since I finished it.  One note - on the corners, when she says to be careful it is "layertastic" she's not kidding.  I didn't quite get the layers on the corners lined up and had to open the lining and redo two of the corners, because of slippage.  So without further ado -

My lovely daughter thought that I purchased this when she first saw it.  Now she could be prejudiced, but she doesn't usually mind telling me (tactfully as possible) when I have missed the mark. I do really recommend this pattern and I plan on making it again soon, with a few changes of course.

Just because I thought it was pretty this morning, the view from my front porch -

Of course in the picture, you can't really see the lake just the mist rising off of it, but it is still pretty.

* that sounds like I'm hating my weight/size right now, and I'm not, not really. Overall I'm healthy, I just wish it would stabilize to make my sewing/fitting easier instead of changing for no apparent reason.  Of course if I would be more active and improve my eating habits yada, yada, yada.......