a Great Little Bag

As a thank you gift for a good friend who helped me out this summer, I made a smaller version of the Great Big Bag, using the same outer fabric and a different lining.

The bag is "bucket" shaped, with a rectangular bottom, widening to the top. There is a small (I think 6"x6"?) pocket with a bright contrasting zipper, and this time I attached the straps to the outside of the bag, I guess to be more bucket-like?!

"Memoirs" from this project:
  • Trim the corners and press the seams before turning the bag rightside out. Duh. This one would have come more naturally if I had made this bag after Ben's shirt.
  • Stitch the corners of the lining to the corners of the bag, and then baste the lining at the top. Hopefully then it will sit nicer - this lining did not sit as well as I would have liked it.
  • I've taken to fabric glue. My Great Big Bag is falling apart at certain parts of the pocket, and is the pocket is also filled with stray threads - on the Little Bag I painted fabric glue on the edges of the seams and I hope this did the trick.

Overall, I was happy with it and very excited because I've been commissioned to make three more similar ones as the bridesmaids' gifts for a friend's wedding!


happy birthday ben!

It's done! I gave Ben his birthday present yesterday and I think he liked it...

I had so much fun making this. I learned a lot. A few things:

  • I don't like interfacing. The pattern instructed me to use interfacing in the button band, collar, cuffs, and pocket flaps. Uh, I'm not making a tuxedo shirt here, so I made it without interfacing.

  • This pattern was somewhat of a 90's Zach Morris-style shirt (you know, kind of bloused and baggy - blech. Although, I imagine the hipsters might start rocking this style now that we've evolved to a 90's revival - which other than Zach Morris, I love. I'm psyched about the rebirth of flannel shirts and Doc Martens.) Anyways, so I narrowed the body (front pieces 12" wide w/seam allowances, and the back was 23.5" w/seam allowances). I made the pockets smaller, and placed them higher and closer together, and changed the shape of the front yoke and made it smaller. I also narrowed the sleeves a lot and took out the pleats.

  • For some reason, the size M collar did not seem to fit. I used a S collar and collar stand and that seemed to work.

  • I shortened the hem about 1.5"
If I made this again (which I think I will), I would cut the S pattern pieces for a M, I would make the back yoke from one single piece, and I would sew the tag in before stitching the collar on:
More pictures! What a handsome model.

I have to say, I truly cannot stand blogspot and how difficult it is to adjust the layout of text and pictures. I have to investigate other options.


a birthday present & the biggest project yet

So, I've been avoiding posting this on the off-chance Ben might read my blog. I'm working on his birthday present, and let's face it, he's probably not going to read my blog before then. So honey, if for some crazy reason you're reading this, stop.

OK, here goes. I'm working on a plaid button-down cowboy-style shirt for him, like the ones he always wears. This is quite ambitious for my level of amateur sewing. I swiped one of his shirts to use as an example, which has served me well; however, it is short-sleeved, the shirt I am making is long-sleeved, and now that I'm AT the sleeves, I've reached a sort of crossroads. It just got a lot harder.

Here's what I've got so far:

I love this fabric! Very crisp.
There were a lot of pattern pieces to cut! Oh boy. Not to mention the additional ones I had to cut after deciding I didn't want to use the interfacing I had already fused on some of them. And the new sleeve I had to cut. And I'm sure there will be more.

I was very happy at this point - This was the easy part. I've tried to be very meticulous and I've been pressing everything like crazy which really helps.

Now, the pattern is huge and I'm making a bunch of adjustments. I'll have to post a picture of the stud wearing the example shirt on the pattern. Very mid-90's. Even in this picture, I've made the yoke different and smaller, the pockets are smaller, and although I don't have pictures with the sleeves yet because they're only partially done, I've done a lot of finagling to make the shoulders and sleeves more narrow. I scared myself yesterday because I thought I might have screwed up the sleeves so I put it down and ran away and I might try again later today.
I hope this works...
And because no project is complete without me starting a new one halfway through, here's what I was working on last week during So You Can Think You Can Dance during the non-dancing parts. What is it?


knitting needle case.

A good friend had a birthday today, and this good friend happens to share the knitting bug with me - actually, she taught me how to purl! And she taught me that you have to actually wind up the hank of yarn, rather than knit with it in a tangled mess. I really thought it was no problem until she made me sit and wind it up while we were at work one day. Didn't that change my life. Well, for her birthday I wanted to make her something and make it something useful for knitting. I thought I'd organize her needles the way she organized my tangled mess of yarn, so I made her a roll-up holder for needles using this tutorial.

These were, perhaps the straightest lines I've ever sewn, and I was really pleased with the way this turned out. Topstitching is still a little tricky for me, particularly in the corners, and particularly when the corners aren't too sharp, like they were when I turned this right side out. A good, quick project and good practice too.