Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black and White for me!

Those of you who know me have probably figured out that I like to wear mostly black and white (it's just so darned easy and looks good with my skin tone!), so you won't be surprised to learn that I had been hoarding a piece of black and white fabric for over a year now with the intention of making myself a great new bag.

Unfortunately I couldn't figure out what kind of bag I wanted to make with the fabulous swirling dyed fabric and so it sat, sadly in one of my bags of stashed fabric and waited, until yesterday! Yesterday, while I was out spending all my money at Target, I saw this bag and instantly fell in love! I love the print, of course, anything geometric with grey and/or orange will catch my eye lately, but it was the handles that blew me away. I love how they have the slightest curve and are doubled up at the top for extra stability for gripping or shoulder riding. So I studied the purse for a few minutes and thought the inevitable "I can do that!" And voila!

My version does not have the structured three panel look that the original had, nor did the handles come out quite the same. I made some alterations so that I could make it double sided with another gorgeous black and white print that I picked up at Joann's (a brocaded fabric at that, so it add some stability to the bag from its thickness). But I kept the shape of the handles and doubled over the hands (although mine are doubled over throughout, not just at the top, necessitated by the double sided bag). I adore it!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras in Mobile

I've been spending a lot of my time this week celebrating Mardi Gras! Mobile, AL was the first city to do a big Mardi Gras (not New Orleans!) Mobile's version of Mardi Gras is much more family friendly than the hoopla slightly west of here in NOLA, but still a very big deal. There are parades every night for the two weeks leading up to the big day (and sometimes two!) and of course there is plenty of drinking and king cake and moon pies and revelry! Thought I would take this blog to show some pics of the parade for all of you and maybe convince some of you to come celebrate with me next year!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Birdie Birthday Cake

As promised, here's a snapshot of the lovely cake that Nikki made for my belated birthday party last weekend! Isn't it gorgeous?! I absolutely love the cherry blossom look with icing and marzipan blossoms :) The cake was a three layer cake, brownie bottom, chocolate mousse, and chocolate cake, to die for! Half of the cake was sent home with the birthday girl and I hate to admit it but I didn't share much and it's gone! Good thing I'm back at the gym this week! Thanks Nikki! No, really THANKS!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Easy Pocket Wallet Tutorial

OK, here we go! I had a request from a reader to produce a tutorial for the Easy Pocket Wallet that I posted about last month. I've never made a tutorial but I use them a lot, so I'm pretty familiar. You may doubt that after reading through this one, but I have used lots of them, I swear! Hopefully, this little tutorial will be as easy to figure out as the wallets are to make, really a cinch!

The first thing you need are 4 pieces of fabric measuring 3 1/2" x 4 1/2" in a fun print. Also, I like to iron my fabric before working with it, but I did not include this step in the pictures.

Put two of the pieces of fabric right sides together as seen in the photo. Do the same with the other two pieces of fabric.

Using a 1/4" seam allowance sew around 3 sides of one pair of fabric (below left). I like to also turn the corners on the fourth side to guide me in a later step, but this is unnecessary. The other pair of fabric pieces will eventually be the top of the wallet and so needs a diagonal (below right). I just eyeball what looks good on one of the shorter sides but for your convenience I have measured this one out. You can see the pencil marks on the photo below. The diagonal begins at 1 1/4" from the left and ends 1 1/4" down from the top right corner.

At this point you want to trim any excess fabric from the diagonal and trim the corners (see below right).

Now turn both pieces inside-out. Use a blunt pointed object to push out the corners, I like bamboo knitting needles from this (see above left).

Once your pieces are turned right-sides out, turn in the open ends and pin them closed.

Stitch around each side of the pieces with a 1/8" seam allowance. For my sewing foot, this is measured as the inside of the right hand guide, see pic below.

Now you should have two pieces like the ones below with even top stitching all the way around them.

Place the top piece (the one with the diagonal) on top of the bottom piece and stitch 3 sides together (left, bottom, and right in picture above) using the same 1/8" seam allowance as the previous step. You will be stitching over your top stitching. Trim any fly-away threads and you're done!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes

In much belated honor of my 30th Birthday (shhhhhh, don't tell anyone!) my friend Diane had a little dinner party for me this past weekend. We had a fabulous time, good food, fun games, and great friends! My friend Nikki made the cake, which was gorgeous and I will post pics later if I can get my hands on a copy. Nikki also brought me two birthday cupcake presents, which are not actually cupcakes, but voila! rolls of fabric!

How cute and thoughtful! Only a real friend will add to your fabric stash :) Thanks Nikki!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Bamboo Handled Purse Remade

I'm so glad to be well enough for crafting again! I've been suffering from vertigo for the last week due to an errant calcium crystal in my inner ear. I'm still taking meds for the vertigo and am not well enough for driving yet, but I managed to drive the sewing machine this afternoon! It was so nice to be doing something again, making something. I've been commissioned by a friend to make a tea wallet for her mother's birthday, so I made it this afternoon, one step at a time, slowly, just in case it was a little too much for me. It went really well. I made two factory-line style, just in case I messed one up. I love the deep purple, almost fuschia color of this fabric.

I also finished a purse that has been sitting on my kitchen table for weeks. Because of the unusal bamboo handles on this one I was not able to complete the sewing on the sewing machine. The sewing machine just won't allow enough room for the handle. So I hand-stitched it while sitting on the couch after finishing the tea wallets. I haven't decided if I will sell this one or not, I truly love the fabric and the handles and shape of the bag as it has turned out. So here's some picks of the bag, but these are not the picks that will go up on my Etsy if I do chose to sell it. (Update: I did decide to post this bag on my Etsy, here's the link: Fan and Flower Print Purse)

I also wanted to post a new pick of the Bamboo Handled Purse that I posted about a few weeks ago. I restitched the edges to eliminate the visible designer name and the end result was that I lost the contrasting fabric around the handle that I loved so much. Bummer. I still like the bag, the print is so sweet, but I'm not sure if I'll keep it for my own after all. We'll see.