I recently bought several a lot of Mav Pack panels from Glitterbug Fairy. I felt like this was a great way to eliminate a lot of material waste, grab some fun designs, and potentially make a few gifts for family and friends. (For those who are looking for the pattern, you can buy it here).
Since each design comes with 2 panels, I decided to split them up to make 2 bags instead of 1 (they are designed so you can use the panel for both the front and the back). This requires a bit of planning and some additional vinyls, but well worth the time.
First, I made these adorable little summer VW vans. For this version, I pretty much followed the pattern “as is”, but I eliminated the zippered pocket and wound up binding the back of the bag (instead of turning) because the vinyl got pretty thick. My only complaint with this bag is that the zipper doesn’t show the top curve well – it really needed to be clipped, but I was afraid clipping the zipper would make it fray and eventually lose the zipper integrity.
For my next attempt (Dolly), I decided that I would take a slightly different approach in hopes to keep the Mav’s shape better. This time around, I modified the zipper so that it’s centered (instead of being sewn down directly to the front) and bound both the front and the back. I was MUCH happier with the results and am pleased to say that my bag binding is definitely improving.
My favorite part about these bags are the fun\kitschy details. I stumbled across this flag zipper tape and paired it up with a rainbow star pull and I just love the end results. I plan on wearing this one for 4th festivities and sending one home with Taylor when she visits too!
I know, I know. I am woefully behind on posting. I’ve been trying (unsuccessfully) to carve out time to tackle everything I want to do every day that by the time I realize I never posted, it’s already evening. So, I’m attempting a new tactic – start posting early in the mornings, maybe make a schedule of activities (sewing and otherwise), then start ticking items off my list. With that said, what have I been up to?
For starters, I’ve started work on revamping my sewing room:
The photo on the left is the original set up, the photo on the right is how it looks now. As you can see I added a TON of shelving to this area. This not only freed up some space in my closet (that is a whole new project) by dragging out frequently used items (like vinyl rolls, notions, etc.), but it tidies everything up and gives me so much more room to expand, if needed!
If anyone is interested, I got these shelves from IKEA (the Billy bookshelf corner systems with the extensions) – they were easy to assemble, but I found the corner part fiddly and definitely needed extra help. The baskets, organizers, magazine file holders (for patterns) all came from the container store.
Also, (not show) is a new sewing chair! I’ve been needing one for years (it was an old office chair that would randomly lower itself) and decided that a bulk of my back pain while sewing was stemming from it (loss of padding, little support). For mother’s day I picked out a gaming chair (sans arms) and it is a game changer! Not only can I lean back (the back support would give out in my old one, LOL), but it’s much more supportive and cushy – I actually enjoy using it!
I’ve had the Necessary Clutch Wallet in my “collection” for over 8 years, but never used it until this week. My goal was to make a matching wallet and purse as a Mother’s Day gift for my mother-in-law. Unfortunately, it looks like it may just be a purse.
Overall, the wallet looks “nice”, but it’s EXTREMELY chonky (and heavy). I used a grape Mora faux leather for the exterior and a lightweight cotton for the lining, along with all the required interfacings to make this project. My machine BARELY powered through the thickness in some parts. The instructions are good, but I would definitely do some things differently if I attempt it again and it won’t be in a faux leather!
Unfortunately, I just don’t think this is giftable so I’ll be on the hunt for a thinner wallet to make (or it’ll just be a purse this year!) to go along with the purse I have in mind. I plan on harvesting the hardware to repurpose for later creations and chalking this pattern up as a learning experience!
While I still found the material a bit sticky, it did perform much better with a simpler pattern. Since I used clear vinyl, I was able to omit the lining and opted to sew the zipper to the outside of the bag (you’ll probably want to trim 1/4″ off the top edge seam allowance). Sewing was EXTREMELY fast on this project and the results are super cute. Best of all this one winds up being TSA compliant size!
Clear and jelly vinyls are a hot material to work with right now. I’ve had some adorable printed vinyl for awhile now, but put off sewing it because I really didn’t know what I wanted to make with it. However, last week, I saw someone post a cute little “Travel Bag” in an online group and decided THAT was what I wanted to make (I even had some new jelly vinyl to try out too).
Unfortunately, while this is a super cute pattern, it really didn’t work out for me. For starters, my (clear, printed) vinyl was EXTREMELY sticky. I’m not sure if this is because I had purchased these prints awhile ago and they settled in together over time or if they just printed that way (there was even some transfer where the white of the printed backside touched the front of the other fabric when they were rolled together), but sewing something small WITH curves was a struggle. It also doesn’t help that I found the gusset was just a little too big and wound up with some weird puckers that just shouldn’t be there. So overall, a cute little design, but I definitely won’t be attempting it with clear vinyl again.
As for the jelly vinyl, I completely understand why everyone loves this stuff! It’s easy to work with, is just a little opaque, and comes in all sorts of fun colors. It’s a fun little product to work with and a great way to get your feet wet into sewing with vinyl.
If you enjoy sewing bags and pouches, chances are you’ve seen one of Sew Sweetness’ Minikins seasons. There have been a lot of adorable purses being made from these collections, but have avoided buying them in the past largely because of the cost (past seasons are $120, while the new season runs on sale for $80 – however all seasons have 12 patterns included) and the fact that (at the time) I wasn’t sewing as many bags. However, a few weeks ago she released a new collection and put past minikins seasons on sale, so I thought it was time to finally snag one. It was a toss up between the original season and 3, but in the end I figured I’d make more items from Season 3’s collection. For my first make, I went with the Brumby Pouch.
For starters, let me say, I’m not always a fan of using foam in my purses. While it typically sews up fine, I sometimes fight with the bulk and honestly, I don’t like the way it feels in my hands when I have to touch it (when it’s in it’s raw form). Unfortunately for me, this bag called for foam. I (briefly) contemplated not using it (and substituting it with a shapeflex or decovil lite) since the exterior print is a firmer canvas, but decided I should probably sew it up as directed before I decided to make any changes… and I’m glad I did. I can honestly say I LOVE the structure of the bag itself and the bit of softness that it brings when it’s completed. In short, this bag may have won me over for using foam as an interfacing!
I made both the medium (the open pouch) and large (standing) size bags and found that the instructions were well written and everything came together nicely (there’s really only one pattern piece so it’s probably not the best gauge on that front). The completed bag sizes are great for traveling and hold a lot more than what I expected! I’m anxious to give some of the other patterns a try. You can grab this print (along with other new fabric releases), tools, and hardware tomorrow in Zor-Elle’s retail drop!
I have wanted to make a pumpkin purse for ages, but finally decided to make one after receiving this fun Sam print from Zor-Elle. Of course, I made it infinitely more complicated because I decided that the pumpkin should look just like Sam’s lollipop (you can zoom in on the photo and see him posing with it in the fabric as well as the lollipop pulls) – with a bit out of it!
For the basis of this purse, I used Oro Rosa’s Magdalena Circle Bag pattern, the Sam print in canvas (which will be available on Zor-Elle’s site May 2) for the lining, half of the gusset and back as well as a fabulous metallic purple sea vinyl for the front of the bag and remaining gusset. I eliminated the handles, did a reverse applique for the pumpkin features, and made a clear “window” for the bite. I also lined (and interfaced) the front of the bag so it looks finished when you open it, but if I try this technique again, I have a slightly different approach to how to do this to make it a bit easier and look more polished. I would also HIGHLY recommend using the same material for the binding that you are using for the lining, if possible, as it won’t stand out as much in the clear window area.
Overall, a really fun purse to create! I’m looking forward to trying out this pattern without modifications now!
Since I already had everything out when I finished March’s Murder Mystery Quilt block, I figured I had better go ahead and complete April so that I don’t get behind again. This month did not disappoint – not only was it fun to sew, but putting these blocks together left a little “fudge room” just in case your pieces weren’t stitching out perfectly… so my finished pieces are THE CORRECT SIZE (finally!).
This month’s block was called “Snail Trail” and wound up being a cool looking, “pinwheel” design (we’re all guessing that they might eventually become shields that are found on the sides of Viking ships). Overall this took about a day to complete, but if I had to sew this up again, it would definitely go faster as I feel a ton more confident about sewing these up now that I have these under my belt!
It was Easton’s birthday this weekend. I always struggle what to do for him because his “list” is usually pretty small. So this year, I decided to do something unique – I “Corolined” him.
You see, Easton has always been a big fan of Coroline (both the book and the movie). Right around Christmas time, he saw an Instagram reel for a woman who created Coroline style dolls for weddings, birthdays, etc. and sent me a message that he wouldn’t mind that as a gift. Since there wasn’t enough time to stitch this up for that holiday, I vowed I’d make one for his birthday… and here we are.
I did a bit of pattern searching and opted for Koala & Mila’s Dean Winchester Doll – not only was it a great size (and bendable arms and legs), but it came with a ton of “accessories” so customizing to someone else was easy(ier). Overall the doll itself was pretty easy to put together, except for those feet! Sewing in the round with tiny features is difficult (but worth the effort. It probably didn’t help that the metric units for sewing\measuring were slightly different from what I used. Aside from the face details, I sewed this one up as directed.
Now for the accessories! This was the really fun part because I totally think that I captured Easton in his clothing. The hoodie was made from a remnant from thisproject and is a mash-up of the t-shirt and hooded shirt pattern included in the pattern. The joggers is made from a too-small pair of athletic shorts (which surprisingly used most of the short – those legs are long). I modified this one to have a side stripe (which most of his pants have) and changed the way that the waistband was constructed some so I didn’t have to thread elastic through a casing. And finally, the shoes are made from a premium felt and are made to look like his Adidas shoes – believe it or not, this wasn’t difficult to sew and came together really well, it just took more time to construct that I envisioned.
All that work paid off because Easton was very surprised when he opened this gift. His first response was “IT’S ME!” followed by, “That’s my hoodie” and then “OMG those are my shoes!” and then “Who did you get to make this?” He was very surprised when I told him that I made it (because cloth dolls are not my forte) and really enjoyed all the “details” that made the doll him.
If you’ve read my past posts, you may have seen me mention that I joined the Murder Mystery Quilt – a block of the month style group. I have been enjoying the challenge of learning some new quilting techniques, but when March hit, I kind of froze. Even more advanced quilters were talking about this month’s difficulty (and size), so I put it off. Then got covid and didn’t feel like sewing for quite awhile. Then realized, I really needed to work on this block if I wanted the additional “clue” for completing the block on time (which, I might add, is an awesome incentive to finish). So with days left to finish my block, I set to work… and here she is:
I hung this one on my door to photograph (so you can see how large it really is!). I think if I would have started on this project and taken my time, I would have had fewer “mistakes” putting it together, but overall, it looks pretty good. In the end, this block wound up being 3″ longer than the finished measurements (I’m not sure anyone’s came out the correct size from what I can tell), which doesn’t seem too bad given the overall length (mine is 75″). I did learn quite a bit and almost enjoyed putting it together, LOL (I think if I would have started this earlier and not felt rushed I would have liked it more). Plus, I got my bonus clue!