Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fabric wristlett Wallet: The last gift

The last of Melissa's birthday gifts was a fabric wristlett wallet. When she opened this yesterday on her birthday I got one of the best compliments that a home sewer can get... wow! Where did you get this?? I love it! 

I must confess that I made this fabric wallet in the middle of the night the day before her birthday. I could not sleep and instead of tossing and turning I headed to the sewing room. I had the pieces already cut out so I just spent a couple hours whipping it up! It came out so great and I am sure to make a couple more of these.

I was originally going to use the free pattern/tutorial from the winter 2010 SewNews magazine but when I got online the comments for the tutorial where filled with bad reviews. I checked my printed pattern against some measurements and when I found these were off I decided to scrap the project. I did a search and found a tutorial for this fabric wallet from Confessions of a Fabricaholic. I did make some minor changes like adding the swivel clip and wrist strap as well as adding more interfacing. Other than that I just followed the tutorial step by step.

I used the dachshund fabric as the main fabric and then used the leftover rainbow fabric from the tote bag for the inner pieces. It came out great and coordinates with the tote bag.

Then the lovely part of telling the recipient that you made it for them. :) That always makes my day. She knew that she was getting the tote bag but had no idea about the doxxie fabric wallet or the jewelry board.

It was a great way to celebrate her birthday, with lots of gifts made with love just for her, that plus the 6 hours her Dad and I spent in the kitchen plating ultimate cakeoff! We made a giant birthday cake for her. It was great fun and came out delicious!


Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Tote Bag is done

The tote bag is complete!

I finished Melissa's birthday gifts! Just in time, her birthday is today:) Can't believe my baby is turning 23... This post is all about the tote bag, I'll post on the last gift I made in the next post. Boy... she is really spoiled this year :)

The tote bag turned out really well, I made a couple of modifications from the original Amy Butler; Sweet Harmony pattern.

1. I added 2 magnetic closures at the top. I really like a bag that has some type of closure. These are pretty heavy duty magnets so unless the bag is over  stuffed they are gonna stay closed!.
2 magnetic snap closures at top of main compartment

2. I added a clip on the inside to attach keys to. I put this on the side that has the open pockets. The keys can be clipped on and slid into the pocket for easy retrieval. Nothing worse than having to dig around in a big bag for keys.

Swivel clip added into lining, upper left hand of picture. This side has the 2 open pockets.

This side shows the big zippered pocket
3. I applied Scotchgard to the bag. I have never used scotchgard before. I only applied a single coat, I may add a second one... any one have any Scotch Guarding tips?

I also made a matching tissue holder or 'sneeze catcher' for the bag.

tote bag versus the handbag

My only con to this project was the quality of the purple zebra fabric. I bought the fabric at a good quilt shop and paid just under $10 a yard for it. I was expecting a higher quality than what I ended up working with. I may think twice before purchasing clothworks textiles again especially when paying a premium price.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Completed GIft but still not enough time!

I have finished one of the planned 3 birthday gifts for Melissa. Yikes... her birthday is this coming weekend and of course I am running out of time.

Not only am I running out of time but also I am having surgery, again, tomorrow and my sewing machine has decided that it needs to go into the shop. now. I wont have the time to bring it to the shop until after my surgery so it will just have to wait a bit.

Murphy's law that my sewing machine decides to misbehave just when I would like it to be working perfectly. Oh well, I should not complain, I have my trusty standby machine that I can work on if feeling up to it.

So in order to make up for the fact that I may not have the other gifts done, I added to the first project. The project, that you had a sneak peak of, is a jewelry board. Melissa is in dire need of a jewelry box, which her boyfriend has decided to get for her. However, on further discussion with him regarding her needs of a jewelry box we discovered, while snooping a bit, that she has several costume jewelry necklaces. Any woman knows that these necklaces tend to be big, long, chunky and fun and that they also don't fit in a standard jewelry box. Hence my decision to make a jewelry board that she can hang her fun costume jewelry necklaces on.

I would love to claim the idea as my own but I can't. I read about a similar idea sometime while recuperating from my broken leg over the summer and it stuck in my brain.

I started with a $2.98 bulletin board and used Acrylic paints, craft paper, magazine advertisements, ink jet printed paper, various cup hooks and hooks from hardware store, Mod Podge and varnish and put it all together! The hardest thing about this project was all the dry time for the various coats of paint, nod podge and varnish.

** The last 2 photo's are sideways, not sure why they uploaded that way and I can't seem to fix it regardless of what I do! so sorry for you having to turn your head!**

Top half of the jewelry board, showing the three large hooks and the 4 smaller cup hooks.

Detail of the corner, I added a crystal rosette to each corner for some added 'bling'

The completed Jewelry board

with 4 new necklaces added to the gift :)

At least I have one great gift my girl! If I don't ge the tote bag done on time I wont worry too much.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tote bag progress

Yikes, 2 posts in one day!!

I was able to make enough progress on the Sweet Harmony tote bag to actually take a couple of shots. I did not bother doing a full step by step photo shoot because I did that with the Sweet Harmony Handbags I made last spring/summer.

Reminder: I did not pick out this fabric. However, I am very pleased with how it looks together. Quite hip and fun for a soon to be 23 year old!

Side 1, I love the rainbow piping detail! The lining will also be of the rainbow material.

Side 2

Side 1 with a view into the pocket, shows the cell phone pocket or what I rather call a gum pocket. Not really big enough for Mel's smart phone but perfect place for a pack or 2 of gum.

detail view

Unlined, unfinished inside showing all the heavy duty decor bond interfacing.

The only thing I am lamenting about is that I only cut out pieces for 1 bag. I really like it and want one for myself! I really love this Amy Butler pattern the only draw back is that it simply takes forever to cut out all the fabric, interfacing, fleece interlining. By the time you get to the sewing you are almost sick of working on the darn thing. This is certainly NOT an instant gratification project. Is is totally awesome when it is done and provides lots of gratification and pleasure afterwards but not during the construction!

A Sneak Peak

I have been very hard at work on a Birthday present for my daughter. Well, actually on a 2 birthday presents for my daughter.

1 of them is a sewn project that she sort of knows about, she picked out the fabrics for an Amy Butler Sweet Harmony tote. The other project is a total surprise! It is a craft project rather than a sewing project and I even had to consult my dad on a how to for part of it. I am just very glad that I have my own space, with a door, to work on these gifts.

There is a 3rd sewing project that I will do for her but only if I happen to get the time to do it. Otherwise it will just have to wait for another time or just be a 'because I love you' gift. Some would call that 'spoilied'!!

I thought I would provide you with a couple sneak peaks of Project # 2. Just to wet your appetite for more.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Family Valentines craft night

Yesterday evening, after a wonderful dinner and dessert made by my wonderful hubby, we had a fun family craft night.

Rick 'antiquing' his glass.

Melissa came up with the idea of painting wine glasses for Valentines day. She picked up 2 inexpensive glasses for her and Dorian and I re-purposed 2 glasses from the china cabinet. I just happened to have a set of 2 left from a bigger set that is all broken now, so I used those for Rick and I to paint.

Gotta love Dorians face...

The paint was an enamel based paint for glass and wood that once painted can be either air cured for 21 days or cured in an oven heated to 325'. I opted for the air curing method, I just did not feel to comfortable putting wine glasses in my oven heated to 325', maybe it would have been fine but I don't know enough about it and did not want to ruin our project or be picking glass out of the bottom of the oven!

Dino's in love by Dorian

Polka dots and hearts by Steph

Grapes on the vine by Rick and squiggles and hearts by Melissa

It was a fun, inexpensive way to creatively spend the evening together with the family, After the wine glasses we hit the Wii for a while for a little 4-way racing in Maria Kart. Boy oh boy, I really am not so very good at some of those games! Very fun night :)

True loves kiss :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

A quick project; crate liner

I needed to make a crate liner for Holly's crate. I did have just an extra remnant of fleece in the bottom of the crate but she kept balling it up.

Holly... the trouble maker!
Today I made a quick project of sewing up a new crate liner for her. In my stash of fabric that I had put on the side for donation I had some bright, juvenile print of a double face pre-quilted cotton. I cut 2 layers to fit, basted them together and the bound them with some yellow quilt binding from my stash.

Front of liner

Back of liner

In the crate

 While I was putting this quick project together, little Holly decided to raid my scrap bin. She was running frantically back and forth from the sewing room with a mouth full of fabric scraps depositing them in the big girls beds. It was so funny!

Remnants from the scrap bin that Holly raided.

Who me???? This poor dog bed is filled with fabric remnants, bias binding, towels and who knows what else!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Valentines Day Cards

I made it through surgery and have been taking it easy. (you can follow my post surgery process over at my other blog) 

I did have a project all lined up to work on as soon as I could get back into my sewing room. However I decided instead to work on some Valentines Day cards. I figured with the amount of pain killers that I am taking if I screwed up a card or 2 who cares! If I screwed up on my daughters birthday gift I will be mad at myself.

I also took the opportunity to play with my new camera while doing this project and took pictures of all the steps along the way. Which means you get a Valentines Day Card tutorial (of sorts!) This was a good project for me because I could do stuff in 15minute increments. What normally would have taken me a couple hours took me 4 days!

All of the materials used were from my giant stash of stuff in my sewing room.

I cut card stock into Postcard size pieces to fit into my small envelopes

I next used some of my stamps to make all over background designs on the cards

To add some extra visual interest I added some areas of embossing

embossing powder being applied

I then hold the cards over an iron set  on highest setting with no steam, this melts the powder together giving the raised embossed effect.

The cards with the embossed details.

I then pulled out some trims from my giant box of trims to play with.

I used an old remnant piece of grey fabric with a sheen to it, ironed on some heavy duty interfacing on the back to make it stiff and then started by layering pieces of cut trims over it until I was happy with the layered effect.

Trims sewn on in rows.

I used a clear foot on my machine so I could see where I was sewing on some of the smaller pieces of trim.

With all the trims sewn on, I them flipped the piece over and applied some leftover pieces of heat 'n bond. I traced the heart shapes onto the paper backing and cutout 4 heart shapes.

I then peeled off the paper backing and with the iron set to a low heat with no steam I ironed the hearts onto the cards. I ironed them from the back. The dry heat kept the cards from curling.

The cards with the different hearts applied using Heat'n Bond

I then added various trims to the edges using Tacky glue applied with a toothpick as well as a couple extra paper cutouts.

When the glue was dried I trimmed off the edges, wrote my notes on the cards and stuffed them into the little envelopes which I decorated with small punch hearts.

All set and ready to mail! I even stamped the back with my monogram.

As you can see these cards are an adorable way to use up some trims as well as to say 'I love you' to some very special people! I only have 4 cards...  It will be a surprise to see who gets them in the mail :)