Zipper Bags

Do you ever start a project and think I am really not meant to make this? Originally I had brought the 2 blue fabrics used on these bags to make reading pillows but silly me didn’t read how much fabric was required and I didn’t have enough when I started to cut them out plus I didn’t have the correct size pillow inserts. I also needed to make a 3rd gift from fabric in my stash. No dramas plan b I will make 3 Zip and Go’s, easy pattern which I have made before.

Zip And Go Pattern

I brought the zippers to match each bag, cut out the fabrics and realised I never had enough fabric to make the straps out of the same fabric. Again no dramas all the fabric had white on it I’ll just make the straps out of white calico from my stash which I did. The Zip and Go pattern has clever instructions where you measure the front panel and slice it at different times in the instructions to insert the zips. I sliced my first panel as per instructions and realised I cut it ¾” too short. Now what to do. I was running out of ideas and time to make the gifts. I had all this usable fabric, I didn’t want to waste it.

2 Zip Bags Pocket

Now I think by this point I was up to plan c. Having made the Essential Wristlet pattern more times then I can remember I decided to use the zipper instructions from that to insert top opening zippers on the bags instead with a front pocket. It was a way to save all the fabric I cut and it was a pattern I was very familiar with.

2 Zip Bags 3

I was originally going to make the zip and go pattern as Christmas gifts this year for the same kids so I had all hardware in my stash. Sewing away it occurred to me that the straps I had made weren’t going to fit the hardware I had in my stash. I make my bag straps on tote bags and regular bags finished size 1″. The zip and go’s have a narrow strap and the hardware I had fitted the narrower strap.  I then had to do a quick online order to get 1″ hardware and have it sent Express Post to have it in time to finish them. I also had to remake the D ring tabs for the bags as I had made them for the smaller size. In the end I think having the tabs in white brings the bags together more as they are the same as the straps and it doesn’t make it look like I have just clipped on any old straps I had.

2 Zip Bags 4.JPG

The straps have sliders on them and I always get confused on how to sew them. I have to look at my handbag each time I attach them as even with pictorial instructions my brain get confused. Just as I was sewing the hardware on my last strap I still stitched it wrong so the slider wouldn’t move so I got my un picker out. When I started sewing them correctly I then broke a needle. I had my glasses on but luckily it wasn’t one of those fly off and hit in your face needle breaks which is why I wear my glasses sewing now.

2 Zip Bags 2

I’m pretty proud of myself. Even though I had drama after drama making these bags and they ended up taking about a week to make instead of a weekend like I’d planned. I never got stressed or angry making them. I ended up with 3 usable bags to give as gifts. I actually did mid week sewing on these which I don’t normally do. Normally my mind thinks if I am going to sew I need a big chunk of time but I did 20 – 30 mins each day and I got them completed. Using white thread meant I was able to batch sew them so I did one task a day during the week. Install one half of the zipper on all the bags one day, the other half of the zippers the next day. Top stitch all the zippers one day. Little chunks of sewing got the small tasks done so when I had a day off work I was able to finish them. By breaking sewing up into small tasks like I did on these bags I might be able to get through sewing all the things I want to make. I’m fortunate enough to not have to pack up my sewing area after each time I use it so mid week sewing is achievable for me.

2 Zip Bags 1

Even though I have now been sewing for 8 years I’m still learning from every project. This project I learnt how important it is to fully check your materials and instructions before you start. Go back and double check the small details as you are making the project, don’t assume or go on autopilot too much. You don’t need a lot of time to sew, break the tasks into small steps and you can get things done.

Cassiy

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Knitted Bangle – White

This pattern was one of those patterns in your stash that you keep saying I must make that one day and when you do it comes together so quickly you think why did I wait so long?

Knitted Bangle - White

This bangle pattern is a free pattern by Amber O’Brein. I found this pattern maybe a couple of years ago and I finally got around to making it yesterday. It uses DK weight yarn but you could use any yarn by just adjusting your needle size. For this one I used some white Bendigo Woollen Mills 8ply cotton.

Knitted Bangle - White 2

I am clearly not a hand model. Depending how fast you knit you could make this in an hour. To be honest it probably took me longer to cast on the stitches using the long tail cast on method then it did to knit the entire bangle. I was trying to estimate how long to leave my tail by wrapping the yarn around my needle so many times then using that length to fold over the yarn to measure out. My first two attempts left me short of yarn, my final attempt gave me too much tail yarn which I just snipped down to a small tail to weave in at the end.

This will not be the last one you will see me making. This is the first in a set for an outfit for Frocktails hopefully but I’m also thinking of all this other yarn in my stash that would be perfect for bangles. Then of course make a smaller size and you have kids presents.

Cassiy

 

 

Upcycled T-Shirt Pillow

Upcycled T-Shirt Before

In the decluttering that me and my best friend have been doing she found an old t-shirt she doesn’t wear and asked “Can you make this into a pillow?” I had never upcycled a t-shirt into a pillow before but thought sure of course I can.

Upcycled T-Shirt Front

I didn’t follow any tutorials I just looked at the shirt and thought of it as a piece of fabric. I started by cutting off the neck area so it was straight at the top. I didn’t realise the shirt had no side seams, it was one of those tubular shirts. I ended up slicing down the shirt straight on either side which removed all of the sleeve area and gave me 2 squares of fabric. At the time I was making this I had no overlocker as it was away for service. I decided to keep the bottom hem as is because the edges were finished and I could install a zipper into it without too much issue. I used the method where you mark out where you want your zipper to be placed then sew a standard seam with regular stitch length either side of the marking but have a long tacking stitch in between the marks where you then place your zipper and sew around it. As I was sewing 2 flat pieces of fabric it was easy to lay the seam open flat to place the zipper. The first seam I did I didn’t leave enough room for my zipper to lay flat so I unpicked it and redid it.

Upcycled T-Shirt Back

The rest of the outer pillow construction was very basic. After ensuring I left the zipper open I just stitched around the big square. As I mentioned I had no overlocker so to finish the raw edges I used the overlocker stitch on my machine. The stitch eats a lot of thread and is a slow process but it is worth it.

Upcycled T-Shirt Side

I am actually super happy with how the outer pillow turned out. The same image is repeated on both sides of the shirt so I didn’t have to be exact with my side seams but they matched pretty well.

Upcycled T-Shirt Bottom

Instead of trying to buy a pillow insert to fit I made one. I just measured around the finished shirt and using those measurements I make one from white calico. I tend to make my turning/stuffing gaps too short so I made sure it was large enough to get my entire hand in. I have plenty of stuffing in my stash and this pillow ate about 500g. I made sure all the stuffing went down into the bottom corners and worked up from there. Before I finished stuffing it completing I put inside the pillow casing to ensure it was going to fit but also so I didn’t over stuff it. It fits snuggly. I ended up sewing the stuffing gap closed whilst still in the pillow as I was too lazy to pull it back out.

Upcycled T-Shirt Home

Now that I have rambled on about all the technical makings of this pillow I’ll let you in on a little secret. This pillow was more than just upcycling a shirt. It was sewing as therapy. I generally don’t get emotional, particularly when sewing. I might be happy sewing but I don’t put emotion into it. Creating this pillow made me feel connected to my best friend who had gone through a tough week after the death of her mother in law. The death brought back emotions for both of us as we both no longer have our mums. Creating this pillow I was sewing for my mum, her mum, her mother in law. My friend and I don’t live near each other so I couldn’t give her a hug but this pillow was my way of giving her the hug I couldn’t physically give. Once it was finished I messaged her to tell this and I explained this isn’t a sad pillow but a happy pillow. To be honest this is probably the best thing I have ever made. It turned out perfect. I am super happy that the most perfect thing I have ever sewn was for her.

Cassiy

 

To Sew List Jul 19

Another 6 months has passed so time to update my to sew list. In January my list was

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black Winnats top – Wendy Ward
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

Ok so I have only managed to get one item off that list made. To be honest I just haven’t been sewing much this year. Even though in my January post I said I wasn’t going to put pressure on myself to sew for myself I did kind feel pressure to sew – I’m my own worst enemy

I have made a couple of clothing items this year. At the time I wrote that post I hadn’t been to Melbourne where I picked up some lovely fabrics including the denim which I turned into a York Pinafore. I have been wearing that dress almost weekly since. I wear it with sneakers, my work shoes, it is the best dress. I did make my Sesame Street skirt too which has been fun to wear at work.

I have acquired a few new patterns as well as fabrics since January. Recently I purchased 2 Helen’s Closet patterns so I am adding to my list.

  • Turner dress – Cashmerette
  • Appleton dress – Cashmerette
  • Pembroke dress – Cashmerette
  • Cedar dolman top – Cashmerette
  • Concord t-shirt dress – Cashmerette
  • Donovan skirt – Helen’s Closet
  • Winslow culottes – Helen’s Closet
  • Blue velvet York pinafore – Helen’s Closet
  • Scrundlewear – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Bunzies – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Calista curvy bra – Stitch Upon A Time
  • Quicker knickers – Little Finch
  • Poncho – Beginner’s Guide To Dress Making magazine
  • Poppy bralette – House of Morrighan
  • Robbie pants – Tessuti
  • Black hoodie/cardigan/jacket (no pattern yet)
  • Bomber Jacket – McCalls M1700
  • Paisley Granville skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Hollings Circle skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Rusholme A-Line skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Finsbury  Bubble skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Fallowfield  pencil skirt – Wendy Ward
  • Roehampton culottes – Wendy Ward
  • Brighton Front Opening skirt – Wendy Ward

I must admit the items I want to sew first are the ones with newly acquired fabrics. The only reason is they are winter fabrics and I would love to wear them this winter if possible. They are also mostly patterns I’ve made before and I am comfortable with, however I think I might go down in the sizing of the Granville skirt. I’m not neglecting fabric that I have in my stash, the lining I’ll use on my Granville is from my stash. I want to make a trial of the Donovan skirt from stash fabric first before attempting it in the Rose Liberty fabric I got during my Voucher shopping trip. Spring Frocktails is approaching in September and I do want to get my Appleton finished for that as I didn’t for the one earlier this year.

My overlocker is back from getting serviced so it is time to start sewing!

Cassiy

B’s Beanie

My best friend works out doors and jokingly said she needs a beanie hint hint 😛 Ok mission make B a beanie was born. Anyone who is a maker knows it isn’t just as simple as I’m to make (insert item here) There are a lot of decisions you need to make before you can actually start making the item.

Decision 1 – What style of beanie would you like?
Thanks to Ravelry which is the database of all yarn patterns I sent her links to about half a dozen beanie patterns and said pick one. In the end she decided she liked the Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure.

Decision 2 – What colour do you want?
She said a bit of blue, grey, pink, purple, green, brown but no red. She didn’t want it too dark or too light somewhere in the middle. With that in mind I went yarn shopping. I was originally going to buy one brand of sock yarn I saw online as the pattern is done with sock yarn but when I got to the shop I thought it would be too itchy or rigid for a beanie. Unlike myself B doesn’t have issues with yarn sensitivity but the yarn I had in mind would’ve been uncomfortable in a beanie. The shop assistant suggested Manos Alegria yarn. The yarn was very soft and squishy and very much beanie worth. The yarn is machine washable always a good thing when your making something for someone else. It was a nice yarn to knit with and I had no issues with it. The colour is Macachines, it is a medium colour so not too light or dark. It contains pretty much all the colours but maybe not so much brown. Certainly no red!

Decision 3 – How slouchy do you want it?
She liked the look of the one on the front of the pattern so I pretty much knitted it as per the instructions in the pattern including the needle sizes to use in each section. The pattern notes do tell you at what points you can change the length of the brim or the slouchyness to make it how you want it. You can read my project notes on Ravelry if you want to see how I did mine.

I had never actually blocked a hat before so was a little unsure how to do it so I watched Very Pink Knits Blocking Hats YouTube clip to see what she suggested as she is my go to person whenever I need to learn something knitting wise. One of the methods she suggests in the clip is to let it dry flat but each time you walk past it throughout the day spin it around your fist a couple of times to keep the circular shape inside. I waited until I had a day at home and blocked it that way. It was raining the week I did it so it did take a few days to actually dry so the first day I spun it heaps the following days I just did it before and work. I did also move it around my blocking mat so it wasn’t sitting in the same wet spot the entire time and also changed the direction I left it flat so it wouldn’t get like seam lines or creases if that makes sense. With the colours in the brim I could see easily see it where I had it flat so I just moved it around so the different colour patterns would be in the centre each time.

This was really quick knit that took me only about 9 days to make but that was only on my needle time and not blocking time. If you’re looking for a slouchy beanie pattern I can highly recommend this pattern. It is a free pattern and a really basic knit. I can see myself knitting this again.

Cassiy

Voucher Shopping Trip

Earlier this year at Frocktails I was lucky enough to win a $150 voucher to The Fabric Store. I’ve mentioned The Fabric Store a few times. It is a shop that has stores around the world including 3 in Australia. I’ve been to the Sydney store a few time and went to the Melbourne store on my holiday earlier this year.

I had 2 vouchers to use, the one that I won plus a 20% discount voucher which came as part of our Frocktails goodies bag that I had to use separately. I had to use both of them by the end of this month. I’d been saving them as a little reward after doing some extra stuff at work this year which was a bit stressful. Last Saturday I decided it was time to go shopping. Now to be honest I actually freaked out the morning before I left home. I had this awesome voucher and I didn’t want to waste it but I didn’t know what I wanted to buy. I’m fussy with fabrics, I generally only wear cottons, I don’t wear fancy stuff, I don’t like the feel of certain fabrics. I was going to this big fancy store which had some many wonderful fabrics but I didn’t even know if I would find fabrics I liked. Face it I basically live in cotton jersey knits. Some of the fabrics in the shop are what I consider pricey so it was a chance to buy fabric that wasn’t in my normal price range but I didn’t know what. It hasn’t helped that I have been in a real sewing funk of lately. Fabric shopping for me can either be really fun and relaxing or stressful, this awesome opportunity was freaking me out. Earlier in the week I had gone through my patterns, sewing books and mags and found a couple of items that I would like to make so took some them with me as inspiration to find fabric.

Even though I had no idea what I would buy I took a long a medium size suitcase to carry it home in. I knew I would be getting a few pieces of fabric and I normally buy things in at least 2m lengths so no matter what I got it was going to be tough carrying it home on the train with one arm because as I’ve mentioned before I use a crutch to walk with. When you have a disability you need to take into consideration small things like how will I carry things when you go shopping. Good job I did take this size suitcase as I filled it.

Ok so lets get to the actual shopping. I put my bag behind the counter then did a walk around the shop to see what they had.

The first thing fabric that I came across was some blue velvet. It was blue, it was pretty, it felt nice. I instantly thought York Pinafore. In my stash I actually have some pink velvet I picked up at a fabric swap which I was thinking of making a York from if I could squeeze out the pattern from it. I knew I needed a blue York. I can’t wait to make it now.

A couple of weeks ago I talked about a sewing mag I picked up. One of the reasons I got it was it had a self drafted poncho pattern in it. The fabric used is a scuba or some soft of synthetic knit that had drape to it. I came across a double knit which was actually on special at I think $10/m I liked the pattern of it. I’m hoping it won’t make me look like a giant blue brick wall. It came in another colourway but I didn’t like it as much as this colour. Because I will be wearing this over a jumper or long sleeve t-shirt I think I can get away with wearing it even though it is synthetic. For winter it will be something different to wear. This fabric was actually stuck in the washing machine to prep the fabric the day I got home. Hopefully I can start making it very soon.

Once I got the above 2 fabrics I still had an amount left of the voucher… Time to look at Liberty fabrics. The Fabric Store is known for its range of Liberty fabrics which are on the pricey side but on the day I went they happened to be 30% off. I was hoping to get some of their knits or loop backed prints but all the colours they had were pinks or light colours. Some Liberty fabrics are really girly in pinks and pastels but they do have bold prints, unfortunately not so much when I went. I did find 2 lots of blue roses, one was in a swim knit which was a white background with traditional roses and stems but this fabric was more my style. It is a cotton but it isn’t too fine. I’m gong to make some sort of skirt with it. I got 2m so will see if I can get some sort of circle skirt or elastic waisted skirt. You shouldn’t be able to see through it.

One pattern I did take with me is McCall’s M7100 which is a jacket pattern. I’ve had the pattern in my stash for a while. Thinking about it the pattern is very similar to a ready to wear jacket I’ve had for a bout 14 years. I want to make version D of it which is just plain with a kangaroo style pocket.

Using my discount voucher I found some loop backed stretch velvet type fabric. It looked perfect for an unlined jacket. I got 2.4m which is what the pattern calls for. I will see if I have enough fabric to not have to worry about making cuffs for the arms or bottom band but if I do I will use black cotton jersey for that section as I am not a big fan of ribbing.

I did have fun using my vouchers but it was kind of mentally exhausting. Shopping to a budget is a little difficult but I had an amazing opportunity to buy fabrics that weren’t in my normal price range and importantly get fabric I know I am going to use. I’ve changed my shopping habits to no longer just buy things fabrics or yarn for my stash. I have to get my overlocker serviced (on the plans for this week) then I can start getting back into garment sewing. My poncho I should be able to do on my regular machine as the fabric won’t fray.

Cassiy

My Earbud Pouch

I made my friend an earbud pouch years ago but I never made myself one as I never needed one. I have been using ear phones at work for about 6 months and it suddenly occurred I need to make myself one!

The pattern is the Circle Zip earbud pouch by Dog Under My Desk. In my stash I found a couple of pieces of my favourite fabric. I don’t have much of this left now but I found just enough for this project. This like all of Erin’s patterns is super easy to make. I literally made it before work one morning (I do get up early) it only took about an hour to sew and maybe 10 – 15 mins the day before to cut out. This size holds regular ear phones but on the DUMD Facebook group others have said they have enlarged it to hold larger cords so you could make it to hold other electrical cords.

I am super happy I have a little something me made that I see each day at work in my favourite fabric. I don’t sew a lot for myself other than clothes so this is nice.

Cassiy