Thursday, July 23, 2015

Super Tote for a Baby Shower

A very good friend of mine with whom I went to college, is having a baby coming up in October.  She is about 5 years younger than me and like a sister.  She is one of those friends that you can go for months without speaking and then pick right up where you left off.  I adore her so much and I am so excited for her little one, Jackson, to arrive in a few months.

I wanted to do something very special for her, however, a quilt was out because one of her family members has already taken on that task.  After a lot of contemplation, I settled on a bag with the intention of filling it with all kinds of goodies.  I love making bags and I know for a fact that a girl can never have too many bags.  I chose Anna Graham's Super Tote Bag.  The bag is large and has a lot of internal pockets for her to put diapers, bottles, cloths and whatever else it is that babies need to function.

I loved the recessed zipper as well, it adds such a beautiful, professional-looking touch.

I've had this Cotton and Steel fabric sitting in my stash for the longest time and I am obsessed with it.  It popped out at me as the a perfect fit for my good friend.  I am glad that it has found a good home.

I've only started to create the goodies to go inside, but so far I have a diaper clutch that will hold wipes, diapers and will fold out into a changing pad.  It turned out a little smaller than I had hoped, so she may only be able to use the changing pad part for a few months.  I used Bonnie Christine's 'Hello Bear' fabric for the clutch which I think is perfect for a baby boy. I will also add some hand made bibs and burp cloths (I have a full half yard bundle of the line to play with) but I am at a loss for further items.  Obviously I can add some diapers and bottles but I really want to put more hand-made items as well.

Any ideas?


Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Round & Round Mini Quilt

Lately, I have taken a hiatus from quilting.  I have 3 actual projects that are quilts that I would really love to finish, but I just haven't been into it lately.  I've been obsessed with making bags so I've put quilting on the back burner.  I'm not worried though.  This happens.  I go in cycles, like the economy. Ha.  So anyway, I was scrolling through Pinterest and I came across a pin of Thimble Blossom's Round & Round Mini quilt and immediately had the urge to make it.  Woo hoo, hiatus over.  Now, I know it's only a mini but it is still quilting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

My points weren't exactly..well, on point, for lack of a better term.  Maybe I'm a little rusty. I don't care though, I really love this pattern and the turnout of the mini.  I used Aloha girl...just a little bit.  I have a massive fat quarter stash that I have been saving up for another quilt idea that I still haven't started...yeaaaaah.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A New Beachy Romper for my sweet baby niece

I've been dying to share this latest creation of mine for a couple of weeks now but I was waiting to get a few pictures with my niece...unfortunately, due to circumstances like I have to work, I haven't been able to see her in it.  Finally I just bit the bullet and had my husband drop it off to them when he saw them (them being my brother-in-law and his wife) last weekend.  So I apologize for my lack of pictures with a baby in this sweet outfit, but I was beginning to think I would never get it posted.

The pattern is called The Pleatie Playsuit and it is by Tadah Patterns.  Overall, the pattern was decent to follow along.  It had its moments for sure, where I wished things were explained a little better, but overall, I was able to complete it with a minimal amount of seam-ripping and a moderate level of cursing.  This was also my first time attempting pleats.  They were pretty easy actually and there is absolutely no reason to be afraid of them.  In hindsight, I feel a little silly that I was nervous in the first place.  You just have to pay very close attention to which side you are sewing on, otherwise you have an inside out pleat.

I also made a matching Reversible Bucket Hat to go along with the romper.  This hat was actually a FREE pattern (woohoo) from Oliver and S.  You can find it here.  At the recommendation of this lovely blog Probably Actually, I added an inch to the rim (I used the extra small size, you may want to add a little more for the larger sizes) to make it more of a sun hat.  Probably Actually also links you over to another amazing blog.  Jessica, from A Little Gray, shows an altered version of the pattern, eliminating the hand sewing which in my eyes, is completely awesome because I hate hand sewing and I suck at it.

Isn't Sarah Jane for Michael Miller's Out to Sea line just the sweetest? I've been hoarding loads of it in my stash and I cringe every time I cut into it, but it looks so darn cute on a finished product.

Anyway, I'm glad I finally got this little play thing over to my niece because can you believe, summer is half way over already?


Friday, July 10, 2015

More Anna Graham Creations - I'm not obsessed though

Due to my vacation and a little mishap with Miss Kate, my sewing machine, my sewing has come to a halt that past couple of weeks.  I had to send Miss Kate in for servicing because she was skipping stitches and then we were in D.C. and then it was back to work.  Finally, I got her back and had the last 3 days off, so I've been doing some serious sewing.

I bought Anna Graham's book Handmade Style a few weeks ago but hadn't really had a chance to try any of the patterns from it.  One of the first things that caught my eye in the book was her Market Bag, so that was first on my list.  I had also been eyeing up her free tutorial for her Trail Tote under the tutorials section of her website, which definitely was next on my list.  I'm happy to announce I completed both of them and both patterns were not lacking, as her patterns never are.

I am equally impressed with both products, I love the roominess of the Market Tote.  I can see it being perfect for the market or a pool day, or possibly even an overnight bag.  The quilting was only slightly painful as straight lines are easy, but let me tell you, there were a lot of them! It was so worth it in the end though because the outcome is just beautiful.  I'm sure I will be making more of these for gifts and I may make some for my Etsy Shop as well.  For my market tote, I used Robert Kauffman's Essex Dyed Linen in Chambray for exterior panels and the same Essex Dyed Linen in Flax for the interior.  The accent panels were various scraps I had laying around.  I love soft pastels next to the chambray, it feels so natural and calming.

The trail tote, is a perfect size.  I made the smaller one and it works perfectly for my petite self.  It is an ideal size to hold just the essentials without weighing you down, I think it will go well on vacations as it is flat and small and easy to pack.  I used leftovers I had from Bonnie Christine's Winged line, I used her line for Amy Butler's Weekender Bag, and while it was beautiful, it looks slightly like a baby bag with all of those pastels.  I opted to use the darker color line for the trail tote and the look is much more appropriate.  I can't wait to get this baby out of the house.

What have you been sewing this summer?


A Fourth of July Post...6 Days Late

 I'm making two posts today, this one is just because I wanted to show you what I've been up to the past week, and the next one is sewing related (of course).

I worked 4 straight days in a row (12-hour days, 14 after commuting) so that I could have 5 days off in a row for a 4th of July getaway with my husband.  We had big plans to go up to Maine and then drive down the coast and eventually back home.  It sounded all good in theory, but when it came down to it, we decided 5 days probably wouldn't be enough to take a trip that should probably be at least a week long, if not longer.  So we decided to go to Washington D.C. instead.  It is only a 3-hour drive and I am just in love with the city.  I lived there back in my early 20s, my play days I like to call them.  I had a blast and grew to love Washington D.C dearly.  I have rarely been back since, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity, I mean, what better place to spend a 4th of July vacay then the nation's capital?

I just wanted to show you some of the beauty I got to experience while I was there.  If you haven't been, or if you have but the last time was on a field trip in fifth grade, I highly recommend you put it on your bucket list.

We were solely entertained walking the city for 3 days.  We didn't really spend much money, that is the beauty of D.C. There are so many FREE activities.  The public transportation is probably the best in the country and the views are just breathtaking.

Hope you enjoy.  How did you spend your 4th of July?


All of the following buildings were just things I saw on our walk down Capital Hill to the monuments.  How majestic are these buildings?!

 I love this view of the city:

The Canadian Embassy, I took this for our good friends Mark and Julie, who clearly, are from Canada:

Are these flowers amazing? These are all taken from the Conservatory, also a FREE entrance:

Sunday, June 21, 2015

A lovely lunch tote...

Sometimes I get in random moods and just feel like sewing the most random things.  For some reason in my head, I felt like finding a great lunch tote.  Not that I really need one and I ended up making 3 of them, so I have no idea what I will do with them but I adore these things and I feel like I just want to make more and more because they are just so darn cute.  I foresee them being used as Easter baskets or gift bags or (duh) lunch totes.

This lovely pattern comes from Ayumi over at the Pink Penguin.  The link to this particular tutorial is here. The tutorial is precise and easy to follow, I think definitely suitable for a beginner with just a little bit of patience.  I whipped up 3 of these in a day, 2 for my nieces and the other one, I'm not really sure, I was just having fun playing with fabric.

I used the Milk, Sugar & Flower line by Penny Lane Fabrics for this one.  Doesn't that fabric just melt your heart?

For these two bright lovelies...well, I'm not sure.  It was in my stash but I don't have the selvedges and drives me nuts.  Any suggestions as to what fabric this is?  The accent blue and the pink dots are by Riley Blake, just not sure about that lovely geometric pattern.


What random sewing projects are you sewing up these days?