August marked the last month of my #birthdayclubhandmade swap… although I’m only posting about it now! I learned a lot from hosting my first swap, and I got to know some quilters a little better since most of my “sewcializing” is done online. August’s birthday girl listed as inspiration mom and daughter duo Bonnie & Camille. I present the Bonnie & Camille-inspired triple-zip pouch!
(Sorry for the poor iPhone photos; I was in a hurry to post the package!)
I found that, although I like Bonnie & Camille fabrics, I didn’t have many in my stash. However, I had lots of fabrics that were in more or less the right colorway. I also had a Thimble Blossoms pattern: the mini swoon.
The mini swoon finishes at 8″. To fit the back of the pouch, I reduced by half. The swoon above is just 4″! Some of those HSTs are 1/2″. Who knew something so small could take so long to sew?! I know the number of pieces is more important than size in determining sewing time, at least in theory. I always forget when I decide to sew something small, haha.
Each of the interior pockets is a different color, too. I stitched a piece of vintage ribbon into the biggest pocket. It matched perfectly!
On one hand, I’m sad the birthday swap is over. It was fun watching my Instagram feed to see what others in the group had made. On the other, I can’t wait for all of my sewing time to be spent on “me projects” for awhile! I also have a bunch of big life changes on the horizon, so fewer commitments will be a good thing. Thanks to everyone who participated or followed along!
I made a Tudor Bag late last year for a birthday gift. It was the first bag I’d sewn, and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to make my mom a Tudor Bag for Mother’s Day. (You can buy the pattern and read the pattern maker’s blog entry about the bag here.)
I did a few things differently with this bag compared with my last bag. First, I installed the optional shoulder strap. It was extra-special for me that the hardware came from a trimmings store in NYC; I knew I would make the bag enough ahead of time that I was able to grab the items on a trip early in the new year. Second, the closure on the front of the bag has a zipper instead of a metal clasp. And third, I added a “bonus pocket” to the back of the bag — with no closure for easy access. (I accidentally aligned the pocket with the bottom of the bag, rather than the top of the purple trim, so it was shorter than I’d planned. Oops!) Fourth, I added purse feet. Fancy! Finally, I redistributed the widths of the interior pockets.
Perhaps the best feature of all? It goes with black! All the girls in my family wear way too much of it.
One final little perk I included was a pink flamingo notebook from Rifle Paper Co. Rifle is one of my favorite companies. When I was in Orlando, Florida, for a work event a few years ago and had two hours to kill before my return flight home, I decided to do something that would give me a sense of the local flavor. I am a nerd who actually looked up local stationers and found that Rifle was in nearby Winter Park, Florida. I figured I’d drive on local roads, check out the area, and buy some gorgeous paper yet besides. I arrived to a decent-sized space that was recently opened. The clerk was friendly but still new enough that she asked my opinion about whether a certain product should go “here” or “there.” I’ve been the biggest fan ever since. So when I was planning a trip to NYC a few weeks ago and saw on Anna’s (the illustrator/owner) Instagram account that she was attending a launch party for her recent collaboration with Le Sportsac, I jumped at the chance to say hello! Isn’t she gorgeous? Friendly, too.
And guess what?! I snagged a sold-out pouch online in advance for my sister since I knew they’d go quickly at the event. I’ve been congratulating myself for about a week now. 🙂
I posted before that my sister loves owls. I wanted to make her one last Christmas gift with that theme and decided on the Madeleine purse tutorial I found on Pinterest. A woman with blue hair (read: probably more creative than I am) at the fabric shop told me the owl fabric I picked was cool. That made my day!
Then the project turned into a nightmare.
At the Quilt Expo, I attended a class by Nancy Zieman of Sewing with Nancy. She had this great trick for using Steam-a-Seam-2 (“SAS2”) instead of normal interfacing on certain projects. I had trouble the first time I used interfacing, compared with a stunning victory when I tried SAS2 for the next project. I decided I would save myself a headache by using SAS2 for the purse project… and learned that Steam-a-Seam has its limitations.
First, my sewing machine hates sewing through paper. I see all kinds of cute projects online and have even attempted a few, but alas, I make it about 2 inches into the project and throw my hands up in despair at the hundredth broken thread. (Preempting: Adjusting tension, stitch length, needle size, etc. doesn’t help.) When sewing through two interfaced layers of the purse, I was also sewing through 2 layers of paper, plus the sticky interfacing itself. My needle was gummed up and the thread broke constantly. Not fun. I even experimented with removing the paper in favor of a tape and wax paper concoction. (Worse!) And toward the end of the project, I had to figure out how to get the paper out from between the lining and the exterior after flipping the purse right-side-out. (Solution: I removed the paper in advance and hand sewed the seam! I hate hand sewing stitches that are not even visible when the project is finished!)
The tutorial itself was pretty good. However, I strongly urge a better interfacing selection if you decide to try this project. Some additional points of clarification:
1. The pleats are not box pleats (both left and right sides tucked toward a center point). You can just bring the pleat lines together and fold either right or left. Be consistent with your direction.
2. On the final sewing step (sewing the lining and exterior together), the wrong side of the lining should be the outermost layer (clear in the pattern) and the purse exterior, which is tucked into the lining, should have the sticky/interfaced side out, with the front side of the bag facing in toward the lining. It’s possible I did a fantastic job of attaching the two, double- and triple-securing the strap, only to find the exterior was facing the wrong direction…
As an added bonus, I did the owl embroidery (patterns here) while my sister was sitting right next to me! She was just home from the ER, I had food poisoning, and we were too self-absorbed to worry about each other while we watched Christmas movies together. About 45 minutes after I started, she asked what I was working on, and I told her it was a project for another friend. She didn’t ask to see it! Whew!
When I was all finished, I had to wipe down with rubbing alcohol all the pins that had secured the interfaced pieces. They were extremely gunked up!