Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Five Bags

I still cannot believe I have finished these and that they all turned out well! They are sling bag purses. I am going to design larger ones eventually for market bag/tote bag size. I also hope one day to find a one-hole hole punch and add snaps to the design instead of velcro. I think it may sell better if I do it that way. I would add magnet clips, but it costs around $3-$5 per magnet fastener whereas around 10 snaps come in a package at wal-mart for about $2. For now, velcro works well and is easy to add to the design.

These bags I worked on in an assembly line, cutting out the fabrics per bag on day one, sewing the lining and outer shells, adding Velcro, and basting and pinning on day two to get it ready for finishing, and then early this morning between breakfast and saying goodbye to Nathan I added the bottoms to the bags and was finished. Even though they are complete and tagged with labels, I am at a disadvantage. I do not know what to do with myself. I could design more, but my hands cannot take any more. They have had all they can take these past three days. I have always had cramps from knitting and crocheting, but never from sewing. Maybe five at one time was too much. But then again, my #2 bag motto is "there is no such thing as too many bags!" My first one: "you do not hold a bag, you wear it!"
This one is my favorite. I am going to make another one just for me.

This one turned out nicely.
I have been using this fabric for a long time now and I think this may be the last of it! Hooray!!
I took this fabric from an old skirt. It looked ugly as a skirt, but I like it better as a handbag. The first one I made was with this material and is my current purse. I can match it with anything.

I wished there was more of this material. It is the cutest one in my opinion and would look great as a market bag.

I hope to make more once my hands have healed.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sew Cuffs onto Capris from An Old Pair of Jeans


I recently was given a bag full old jeans from a friend of mine. She thought I might fit into them, but they ended up being too long for my legs. Instead of hemming them, I thought I would add style to it by converting them into capris and adding cuffs. I have been wanting to try this for a while now. I found it to be very easy, fast, and relaxing. It was a nice break from the usual routine.

I hope this makes sense...

What you need:

small amount of leftover fabric
blue jeans or old pants


Mark where you want to cut your jeans/pants to your desired capri length.

Lay the pants flat and draw a straight line at your marked position and cut across. Trim them if you feel they are lopsided.

Measure the circumference of the cut edge. Add 1/2" to your measurement. Decide on a width of your choosing adding in 3/4" for seam allowances. Mine was 16" long by 4" wide.

Turn your capris inside out and pin the right sides of the fabric strips to each leg making sure to match raw ends together all the way around. I like to place the ends of the fabric lengths are as close to the inside seams of my capris.

It should overlap where the two ends meet. Pinch the width ends of the fabric together and pin. Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinched width ends to close the gap.

Sew a 1/2" seam around the capris. Fold down and press. Fold up a 1/4" of the bottom of the cuffs and press. Flip the pants right side out and fold the cuffs up all the way. Press the folded edge. Sew a 1/8" seam at the fold of the cuff before sewing an 1/8" seam at the top to set the cuff in place.

You now own a "new" pair of capris that no one else has! How does it feel?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Method to My Madness

This morning,-doesn't it always occur in the mornings?-I felt stir crazy and did not feel like sewing. I don't know, maybe I needed a break from sewing or maybe it was my hair being loose, my feet bare, or the fact that I was still in my pajamas. Whatever the cause, I needed to do something and I could not sit still. I was tired of Facebook and the internet. Tired of sitting, tired of working on homework, and just plain tired of the ordinary.

I began pacing and trying to come up with an inspiring and colorful new bag to sew or sew one from my list of "musts," but found that nothing I appealed this morning. And besides, the room was terribly messy with too many chairs and objects I had to step over or around. Why can't I seem to be organized with all my fabrics and supplies?

A light bulb of inspiration turned on at that inquisition. There must be some place I can put ALL my material and tools! I began to reach far into my mind for some brilliant idea of a place or nook I could keep all my fabrics. At the time, they were all scattered and in several rooms. Our chairs, table, end tables, coffee tables, dresser drawers, closets, multiple tote bags, and a china hutch side door were all hosts to mounds of fabric and sewing supplies.

I did not used to be in this predicament. The only fabrics I owned were scraps as I did not sew often and when I did sew, it was only to make a small something or a pillow: the only objects I could master. Then in March, I became infected with a bug. A tote bag bug. And then it became a problem.

This is what I did to solve my problem and satiate my hunger to do something.

To put things into perspective for you: Scrabble, our small cat demonstrates just how small of a place I used to keep the majority of my fabrics before I turned into the tote bag monster.

Here is what I did with my china hutch, side-door nook. Cute, isn't it? These are only a portion of the machine sewing books people have given me. I use these more frequently to gain ideas, learn techniques, and be inspired.

And here is where I put my stash of fabric. That's right! Inside my dining room "pantry" where I keep extra pots, pans, dishes, and tea sets. I did not think I would ever finish. But here it is!

Look! Look! My mess is hidden! I am completely thrilled!!

It feels great to be able to look at ALL of my fabrics in one time and in one location. Now I am able to see what I can blend together in a pattern instead of marching around in circles before giving up and just making something with whatever I touch first.

One day I would like to have those stack-able white metal shelves meant for dishes and pantries, maybe for my birthday? They are expensive to get in one go even using Wal-Mart, Big Lots, or the Dollar General as my supplier.

"Why are you cast down, O my soul?And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance."
~Psalm 42 :5