Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Lovely Satchel

Last week my "gym bag" sprung a leak. And by "gym bag", I mean a reusable grocery store tote bag from Shaw's. A giant hole ripped into the side of it and things would fall out in a trail behind me as I left the locker room. I was annoyed about having to go to the store and replace it. Then I remembered that I sew. Isn't is a great looking bag?

I found a fantastic old pattern in my stash for this giant gaudy beach bag - so I stripped off all the trim and glitz to make it perfect for the gym. I also used a gorgeous piece of decorator fabric that had been in my stash for at least 10 years. I was saving it for "something special" which we all do when we have a piece that we treasure. Well, what better use than a gym bag that I haul around Every Day? I'll get to see it all the time!

The fabric is a pastoral French print with a young woman and lots of flowers and swirls. I love it.

It's way too fancy for the gym and it's way too fancy for the bag I made it into but I love it anyway. It makes a day at gym a little more glamorous. And don't you love the way the swirls and the notched top lined up so nicely?

I lined the bag with a simple blue cotton, stitched in a pocket and a (wonky) label, and called it wonderful.

As for that wonky label...I really need to figure out a way to make labels for my garments and accessories that look neater. I know I should just get some professionally made with my logo but that's out of the budget for now. Until then, I'm going to experiment with cotton tape and permanent ink stamping, I think. This is getting ridiculous. I need labels as well crafted as my goods.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Boys Need Clothes Too

I've been on a hunt for clothing patterns for boys. Aside from my stash of Burda patterns, that is.

My little guy, Boo, will be 3 in September. That means preschool is starting for us in a few weeks! Like a good sewist mother, I'm chomping at the bit to whip up some back-to-school clothes for his first year. Unfortunately, there are very few patterns to be found. For every 100 adorable patterns for a little girl there is 1 single pattern for a little boy. Most of them are boring. Some are just plain ugly. A lot of them use knits.

There are some adorable patterns to be found though. I found some fantastic patterns! Here is a list for reference.

Oliver + S:
Sailboat Top and Pants
Field Trip Cargo Pants and Raglan T-Shirt.

Blank Slate Patterns:
The Beachy Boatneck
The Coastal Cargo Pants
The Prepster Pullover

The Peek-A-Boo Pattern Shop:
The Hangout Hoodie
The Varsity Cowl Neck Pullover

Made By Rae:
Parsley Pants
Flashback Skinny Tee
The Charlie Tunic

Heidi and Finn:
Urban Unisex Hoodie

Submarine Pullover
Maxwell Shirt
NoWhere Man Pants
Number 9 Trousers

Not bad, eh? It's a great list, but it's ALL I found. At least, all I found that was interesting and fun. I'll keep adding to the list if I find more.

Another great find was Ottobre Designs magazine. I need to get my hands on the children's editions of those!

Now, there is a small hurdle. I have little experience sewing with knits. Very little. In all my years of working in costume shops, I never really worked with them. It just never came up. So...clearly I need to get on this. Boo needs cool clothes made by his mom.

I decided to dive right in and I chose a pattern from my stash as a test pattern. Burda, 9614. Cute, simple tee shirts made out of cotton jersey.

I paired the pattern with a simple blue striped knit from my reclaimed tee shirt pile and started cutting. Here's what I've got...

I need to find a neck binding tutorial next. I think I know what to do, but I really want some tips. Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fabric Grab Bags!

My local Savers often has fabric grab bags for $2 - $4. They weigh about a pound and are stuffed with fabric goodness. Last week I was there (with a 50% off coupon!) and scored two amazing finds.

I got this one for $1.50 (originally $3.00) and I think it was totally a steal. It contained a whole pile of 1 yard cuts of vintage style floral prints. They look very 70's and might just be that old. I wonder if someone planned to make a quilt and finally gave up after 40 years of procrastinating!

The bag, as purchased.

The contents, all laid out!  

 I love these two prints, identical in pattern, but one in green and one in black. I've got about a yard of each and I want to make a little girl's dress out of them. I'm thinking either something prairie style or something Belgian style.

These two prints are very small and very delicate. If the pieces were larger, I'd be making nightgowns out of them. Since I've only got the 1 yard of each, I'm considering handkerchiefs. I'm also considering saving them and using them as contrast for little tops.

I got a second bag during that trip. It was mostly chuff but there was one incredible gem that I couldn't resist! Look at that yellow polka dot happiness. It's about 2 yards of heavy cotton fabric and I just had to have it. It will become a skirt or a giant tote bag. I haven't decided.


As for the chuff, well, you win some and you lose some. I'm sure I'll use it eventually. I love grab bags though!!!

The chuff.