Bag-A-Licious

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I seem to be on a bit of a scrap binge lately.  These are follow-on creations inspired by the fabric pods.  They’re great to make when you just want to sew, not bothering with fitting or fussiness of any kind.

While the pods take a square, these little bags can be made from more forgiving scraps.  Any little oblong piece can be incorporated.  Like the pod bags, the zippers are attached so that when they are unzipped the bags stay open.  A nice touch.

Once the bags were sewn, I decorated the toucans and tigers a bit more.  They have rhinestones on them for a little bling sais quoi.

I like them.  They’re colorful and fun and make me smile.  I hope they make you smile too.

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Style Arc: Lotsa Lotti

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The recent issue of the American Sewing Guild newsletter had an article about garment sewing from scraps.  Basically showing runway designs and recommending patterns that lend themselves to reduced yardage.

The light bulb went off, and I realized that’s what I’ve been doing all along with the Style Arc Lotti tank top.

It’s perfect for using those knit fabrics you love, but don’t have enough of to make a full tank.  While the pattern shows three different sections both front and back, it’s easy to merge the third section into the first and make it with only two different fabrics.  That’s what I did with this top.

I know, a black tank top?  What can I say, white as the accent wouldn’t have worked with two dark-furred cats, and I don’t look good in tans.  Black is basic.  Black is classy.  Black it is!

Ziggurat

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This bracelet was an experiment in free-form weaving.  Not free form as in absent warp and weft, but free form as in design.  I had no plan when I started, other than it should be dark and goth-like.

It was intended as a gift for someone, but alas, I have not yet perfected sizing my loom pieces, and it fell short of her wrist.  Pooh!

That said, I remain pleased with it.  The clasp is pleasantly hefty and solid, the woven band is nicely tactile.  With the sizing exception, it turned out well.

The black background highlights the Mardi Gras colored design, with it’s peaks and ogees.

Jalie 968: Shorts

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As has been previously mentioned, it’s become quite warm here. Warm enough that more shorts are in order.  The current batch in the dresser have truly seen better days.  Stained.  Stretched.  Torn.  and otherwise abused.

It was time to make more.  These are from fabric acquired I-don’t-remember-where, which is apparently a store I frequently shop, because I have acquired a lot of fabric from them.  It’s mostly cotton, which makes it perfect for warm weather.

The pattern is my TNT pants from Jalie, alas long out of print.  The sewing was pretty straightforward.  I even remembered that the seams are 3/8 rather than 5/8 inch, which corresponds the width of a 4-thread overlock.

For once, I’ve finished apparel appropriate to the season, and should get a lot of wear out them.

Style Arc: Violet

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It’s over 100 degrees outside, which means I am indoors working on a jacket made from felted fleece.  For Winter.  Yes indeed, sports fans, I am once again working at cross seasons, sewing something totally unsuited to now.

There is one redeeming factor with this project, that being I started the jacket at Sewing Camp in April, when there actually was snow on the ground, and I could have worn it.

Several iterations of trial and error on the finishing method delayed the actual completion.

The original plan was to use a faux leather as the binding, creating high contrast with the felted fleece.  The faux leather did not cooperate.  Next I tested a more mundane edging, which made things look too generic.  The primary fabric really did need something with equal pizzazz.

The winner was a black organza binding, which of course was a #($&#?@ to sew.  Slippery?  Yes.  Ravelly?  Yes.  We agreed to disagree, and it was hand sewn into submission (and readers of this blog know how much I hate to hand sew garments).  In fact, this jacket has more hand sewing than I have done on any garment in years.  Years.  Decades.

There were a ton of things I did differently from the pattern recommendations.  The Violet pattern suggests using a stable knit like ponte.  I did not do this.  The pattern does not have instructions for making the jacket reversible.  I wanted it to be reversible, so both side of the primary fabric would be usable.  The pattern does not have directions for having pockets on both sides if you do decide to make it reversible.  Lastly, the edges are supposed to be turned under and stitched.  And of course, I did not do this.

Given all these deviations from the pattern recommendations and suggestions, I don’t feel I can easily say how good or bad the pattern itself is, since I basically thumbed my nose at it.  All I can say is “I did it my way”, and in the end, it worked.

As you can see from the above photos, one side is a lovely marbled grey and the other a colorful riot of felted ribbons.  Both sides have usable pockets which do not connect internally.   It took a bit of thought, as well as a lot of hand sewing to get everything lined up and working properly.

The organza binding was hand sewn to the garment.  And since I was hand sewing, why not make it even more interesting by adding beads?  So I did.

Now that all is said and done, I think the organza and beads add just the right elan.   Perhaps even more than the faux leather would have done.

Now I look forward to cold weather.

Under the Sea

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While wandering around somewhere or other, I came across these lovely little fishies, and knew I had to do something with them.  They weren’t my usual type of bead, being a fired ceramic, but what the h*ll.  Time for something completely different.

I remembered Nevermore and thought perhaps a similar technique might work.

So, it was into the bead boxes to see which colors and sizes worked with Cleo and Clara and Clovis.  What’s that?  Doesn’t everyone name their fish beads?  Of course they do!

The end result is a lovely spiral of seaside and mist colors in various bead sizes (15°, 11°, 8° and 6°) as the focal.  The spiral comes in and goes out, just like the tide.  The necklace is strands of milky white beads sealed with a slide clasp.

Penchant for Pods

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I’ve been looking for sewing projects that would use up all the bits and pieces of fabrics I’ve accumulated.  You know those fabrics you like too much to toss, even though there’s not enough left to make a pocket lining.

I stumbled on these critters while cruising Craftsy, looking for ideas or patterns or… something!

These little cuties were just the ticket!

The instructions are very good, including how to create a franken-zipper of your very own.  That means separating a zipper and removing the zipper head on purpuse which is something I had issues with.  It’s one of the Seven Deadly Sewing Mistakes – zipping a zip only to come completely off the teeth.  Eek!

These little pods are about 4 inches on a side.  Large enough to hold whatever may need holding, but small enough to not be cumbersome.  Some of them are stiffened with quilt batting (more scraps put to good use) while others have heavy duty interfacing.  I haven’t yet decided which I prefer.  Both support media allow them to stay open when unzipped.

Two 10 inch (or smaller) pieces of fabric create two pods.  Not bad!  I can see these as gifties for the holidays.