Sunday, June 29, 2014

Knitcation Contest

My Knitcation Vacation

Independent Fashion Fabric Shopping around the World

Colette Patterns has sponsored a unique contest to inspire a great travel wardrobe full of their comfortable, versatile and super cute knit patterns. I have made a navy Mable Skirt and a grey striped Moneta dress. 

Since this is mostly a fantasy vacation, I would spend my time visiting some of the world's best fabric shops and cities.  This would include a wonderful mix of the best local small fabric shops and large famous and fancy ones. No "quilt only" shops on my tour, just the places with great fashion fabric too!

Santa Cruz, CA

Day 1: My trip would start at home, in my little town of Santa Cruz, California. Here you can find Harts Fabric, surfing and mountain biking and lots of laid-back locals. 

san francisco
Day 2: San Francisco Since we are flying around the world, we need to go to SFO but first a not so quick stop at Britex Fabrics and maybe a nice hike across my favorite bridge. Other shops I've heard great things about are: Sal Beressi and Satin Moon Fabrics. 

Portland Travel

Day 3: Portland, Oregon! Home of many great fabric shops including one of my favorites,  Bolt Fabrics and Colette Patterns. It rains most of the time so I'd grab a great cup of coffee, say hi to my sister, and go shopping. Or you could do what I did last year while I was there; ride behind your husband on a tandem visiting breweries and trying to get him to stop at the stop signs. Other great shops to see include Modern Domestic and Fabric Depot.

New York City
Day 4: New York City! Massive overwhelming choices at the garment district, beautiful fabrics at Mood including a rather lovely knit that I am hoarding, and some lovely low key shopping at Brooklyn General and Purl Soho.

London Travel outfit
Day 5: London, England Home of the lovely Liberty of London! I'm sure there are also loads of other great wonderful shops as well. Need to do some research if I have any bloody money left after the prior shop. These look interesting and expensive! Marimekko and Broadway Silks .

Tokyo collage
Day 6: Across the globe to Tokyo to explore. I've never been here before but I've long admired the Japanese designs for fabric and craft. My Moneta and a cute t-shirt are perfect for the day. 

Mabel travel day
Day 7: Long flight home.  Fortunately, I'm not working this flight so I'm relaxing in the back in my Moneta.  Can't wait to get home to get to the sewing! 

Here is me in both outfits! I'd love to know what other great fabric shops would be on your dream vacation list. If you have any suggestions, please comment however I am looking for shops with at least a decent fashion fabric section. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Dress for a Wedding

My cousin Amanda married the love of her life Nick,  a couple of weeks ago. I was so excited to go to the wedding that I decided I must make the perfect dress for the occasion. All well and good until my schedule got a little busy. I was sewing this thing up until the night before. However I am quite happy with the results,  especially once I go back and redo the hand stitching of the lining to the zipper! It is tough to hand sew in a hurry! 
I made option D. You should know that you still have to do 4+ darts on the inside layer. I guess it makes the bodice look better somehow. 
I made a muslin of the bodice and the size 14 fit pretty well so I didn't make any changes. The only real issue I had was figuring out the seams at the shoulder. I think there could be a misprint in the directions.

City Slicker Bag

Sadly, it is June which means the last Bag of the Month club Month! The June bag is the City Slicker bag by ChrisW designs.  This bag came in not one but two very detailed pdf patterns. I chose the advanced version although given the materials I used, maybe this was a bad idea. More on that later. 
 Do you like my photoshop practice? I know, it needs work. However, it was really hard to photograph this bag well. So go ahead and focus in on the beautiful fabric and the fancy rivets and not the odd fuzzy edges. 
The City Slicker Bag 

My review: I loved this pattern. The details and explanations were top notch. I love how she takes the time to fully explain each step. It was like a "sew-along" for a bag! 
The fabric used was from the designer remnants sale. This time I only had small bits of a couple coordinating prints so I had to be creative. 
The downside was that this bag took me a very long time to finish. I made the mistake of using this unusual interfacing. Although it makes for a very sturdy bag it also makes it hard to sew. I had to redo sections multiple times. Here is a link to the material. It's called Freudenberg Decovil Fusible

What do you think? Also I would love to know if anyone else has tried this interfacing before. 

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Sewing Indie Month

Sewing Indie Month
While browsing some of my favorite talented web blogger/sewing sites this month, I stumpled upon the "Sewing Indie Month."  I thought it would be fun to try something new and great and a little challenging. Then this May became one of the busiest months I've had in a long time. Busy good, but lots and lots of work trips. So here we are on the last possible day and I'm finally making something! 

A couple years ago a friend bought me these really comfortable pajamas in a bamboo jersey. I've wanted to make something from that material ever since. On a rare day off I bought this beautiful and soft jersey from Harts, (bamboo jersey link) my local fabric shop. This is what I created. 

I had some issues with gaping at the shoulders. I made two versions and I'm still not sure what I'm doing wrong. I have been tempted to buy a coverstitch machine but I'm not sure it would work better here or not. 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Leather Bag for Megan Christmas 2013

Success! My little sister has always been the fashionista of the family and also the most picky about things. So when she asked me to make her a bag, I was happy but a little nervous. She and I were down in LA last summer and I made her go to the fabric district with me. I made her go to Mood Fabrics with me! And she spent more money than me! She bought a beautiful piece of buttery leather and asked me to make her a purse with it.  

I searched all over the internet looking for a suitable tutorial or bag pattern but there is not much out there. I found lots of unappealing hand stitched leather western ware bags.  I did browse Etsy for ideas and proof that a cute leather purse could be handmade. One seller was very friendly and though she wouldn't sell me a pattern, she did give me some great encouragement. 

 I was so happy when I finished it that I forgot to take photos. These are Megan's pictures months later.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May 6th, 2014 Poolside Tote

I just finished the Poolside Tote by Anna of Noodlehead. As a member of the Bag of the Month club I have been eagerly awaiting each new pattern. This month was at first glance a simple tote. I have so many totes. Then I made it and wow, she never fails to impress. 

This tote is the ultimate tote for the pool or more likely around here, the beach. I made it with more rescued fabric (a sturdy nylon) from FabMo and an up-cycled shower curtain from the Ikea as-is section.  I did interface the nylon lining just to make it stand up a little better. The blue fabric was from my stash that I've had for ages. 

I've really learned so much from each bag this year. This one has this facing you can see on the lining. I've never worked with this method and it worked out nicely. I think it adds a nice touch to the normally plain lining insertion method. 

Now it is such a nice day, so I will get off the computer and go to the beach! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Business or Pleasure?

I've been sewing for many years now. I make lots and lots of bags, wallets and purses. When I get tired of bags I sew clothing which is much more difficult.  Then inevitably someone asks me to make them a bag, (usually my sister) and I get back feverishly into bag making.

This leads to having way more bags than I can possibly use and people ask me to sell them bags. I love making bags but as a business? Too much pressure, and as I don't want anything to take the joy out of sewing for me.  Doing your hobby as a business can do that. Ask me how I know...

Then came along the perfect solution! My crafty friend Kiki made a website! is like Etsy but instead of for profit, each item is donated to a charity. It's kinda like a bake sale but way better! Wait, bake sales are good too! You can search by crafter, by charity or just shop. It is still in its  beta version so please help us make this website great by shopping, and giving feedback.

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