Thursday, August 29, 2019

Double Zipper Pouch/Crossbody Bag Pattern

So I dived into my archives and saw this bag pattern which I wanted to publish in 2011 but I kept procrastinating. Anyway, here it is. It's a beginner bag focused on 2 different ways to install a zipper. You can make it as a pouch or a crossbody bag. I personally prefer it as a crossbody bag. Well, make both! If you want the details, please click through any of the pics and it'll take you to my Etsy shop.

Am I forgetting something? Oh yes, all the bag patterns in my Etsy shop is currently discounted at 25% off including this new pattern. Sale ends next Wednesday.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

A Rescue

So, this started out as my usual embroidery on linen cotton slated for a drawstring pouch. (like these) (In case you're interested - chain stitch for the petals, colonial knots for the center and stem stitch for the stems.) But I made the error of using fusible interfacing on the fabric. Based on my experience, fusible interfacing and hand embroidery don't go together. Why then did I fuse interfacing to the fabric forgodssake? Well, I have some newly bought supremely lightweight fusible interfacing, light as feather and I thought surely, surely these will work. I was wrong. The end result? A million puckers around the embroidery. I steamed and unsteamed (?) the fabric but everything I did made the puckers worse. It was ugly. What to do? I didn't want to throw it in the storeroom because that would increase my UFO stash and since I've put in so much work on the embroidery, it would be such a waste to throw it away. And I never throw away anything embroidered, that's my rule.

I couldn't think of any other solution but to make it into a small art quilt. Since the puckers were the problems, why not make the puckers part of the solution?

The first thing I did was to sew running stitches across the linen cotton. I used some cheese cloth as interlining. Once the running stitches were in, the puckers no longer stood out. Next I put in the borders. I'm really pleased with my border because I was going for beige-ish tones and most of my scrap stash is colourful. I have 50 shades of yellow-green, green-yellow but beige? After much digging, I managed to assemble a very pleasing (in my eyes) scrap combo.

As a nod to Janet Bolton, my applique hero, I've included a sun that rose from the ground, gravity defying trees and I finished the quilt using the method taught in her books which is an easy going method. Fold the top to hide raw edges. Fold background to hide raw edges. Put top on background and sew together. Of course the stitches will be visible on both sides. Brilliant!

I used a Lizbeth size 20 multi coloured thread to sew the top fabric to the background. I love the different colours so much that when this thread runs out I'll cry because I bought it really cheap and I didn't think to buy more than one ball. This thread is meant for tatting so it has a nice texture. If you run your fingers over the stitches, you can feel the rough texture of the thread which is really nice.

I have some regrets about the leaves. The one with thick sashiko open fly stitch - I thought the stitches were too thick and maybe I should have picked a different colour like gold or gold yellow. But I couldn't be arsed to cut out the stitches.

Can you spot what I put here?

I used a loosey-goosey method of cutting my applique. I draw a shape on freezer paper, cut it out but not necessarily following the drawing and fuse it to fabric. then I hide the raw edges of the fabric using the freezer paper as a guide. Sometimes the freezer paper falls off but I just keep going.

For the backing, I used batik remnants my mom had given me. I have no idea where she gets her fabric but it's clearly someone else's scraps because the cut is all weird. I have 2 colourway and I hope to use them as background fabric. I added a casing to the background so I can hang the quilt. (as if)

Overall I'm pleased with the result. It looks clean and minimal. (to me) Originally I was going to add a flower pot. So glad I didn't. Less is always more with me. I didn't use up much scraps as the size of the quilt is only 11.75" all round. What do you think of my rescue effort?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

More Scrap Projects

Dear friends,

As you know, I'm on a use up my fabric scraps mission and I'm happy to show you more finished projects.

This embroidered drawstring pouch was finished a few months ago but I couldn't find the perfect drawstring for it despite a few visits to Chinatown. Finally I used a multi coloured cord in my stash which I admit is quite a good match.

The lining for the pouch is the same as the casing - a Amy Butler fabric. I still have tiny bits of this fabric print here and there in my "sewing room". Remember Amy Butler? I wonder what she's doing now... Anyways, the exterior linen cotton fabric is from a remnant I bought years ago for my craft market. Slowly but surely I'm using it up.

Yup. Another embroidered drawstring pouch from the same never ending linen cotton. In case you're wondering why my drawstring pouches come in different shapes and sizes, it's because I cut the best shape possible from the fabric remnant.

For the embroidery, I used Colonial knots, stem stitch and open fly stitch. I'm not very adventurous when it comes to embroidery and tend to stick to what I know. Ah, but check out the drawstring! I used a bias binding thingy to make it. I'm slowly losing my dislike of making my own bias binding.

I asked my girl what she thinks of the drawstring pouches and she said: GRANDMOTHERLY. Not something insulting like "so 80's" or "so 70's" or "so 60's". GRANDMOTHERLY.

Relax. I've decided to let her live.

Oh, with this pouch, I've finally used up the floral fabric print. I won it in a giveaway many years ago and hoarded it for the longest time.

Do you remember back in May I made a tiny, tiny drawstring pouch - first one on the left? (here) I made two more because I felt I hadn't suffered enough. By the way, in case you're wondering and I know some of you are - the pouches has lining and no raw edges. For the middle one, I embroidered a little sunflower using lazy daisies, colonial knots and stem stitch.

My daughter asked me to give her one of the tiny drawstring pouches. Should I let her have one?  What do you think? (Don't forget she called my bigger drawstring pouches GRANDMOTHERLY)
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My Applique Patterns

My Embroidery Patterns