Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Best bag ever! aka The every day bag

Let's not talk about how old this post is... let just say that these were once xmas gifts - when I was actually on my game and gave handmade gifts. 

I originally made this bag here and I still love this bag a LOT. So a while back (ahem) I made these 3 bags for my Grandma, Cousin and Aunt 

I switched it up on the blue one and added binding on this version- which I love! 

Both of these fabrics were hand printed .... somewhere... and I bought it at the quilt show in Jacksonville. Love the way they look together!

This one was for my cousin. The fabric is bright and happy and reminded me of her. 

And for my aunt. Blue, green, circles, flowers... all things that when I see I think of her.

Maybe someday I will get a tutorial up on this. It is seriously so fun/easy to make and it is the perfect size for tossing stuff in a running out the door. It isn't meant to be a purse... more like a pool bag or gym bag or I carry to many changes of clothing around because I have kids bag... 
The hard part about making gifts is I want to keep all the things I make for people... now my stripped ones I love look plain and boring... haha

Monday, March 9, 2015

Savannah's Baby Shower Gift

 I didn't do the invites this time- and I wasn't able to attend the shower either but I did have to send back something to a super sweet Mom-to-be. 
Jacksonville is getting to be a very crafty group and not only that but she is related to a lot of crafty people. So coming up with a gift was just a touch hard. It finally hit me I should make her a doll.... totally useless to the new mom but hopefully fun too. 

Meet Miss'E' and her dog Mayberry. 
She is Black Apples doll pattern with alternate pattern pieces I pinned on pinterest (not sure where these are originally from... they link to Martha Stewart also but aren't what that post links to)

 Bella was sure this was her in doll form- I mean the world does revolve around her right? But this was actually just my guess at what coloring their daughter might have and Mayberry is supposed to be the miniature and not in anyway exact tiny version of one of their real dogs that is a standard poodle. 

Bella's dolls are naked.... a LOT... so I gave Miss'E' permanent undergarments and made her shoes permanent (because who wants to find and put on tiny shoes all the time?? Answer is not me...ha) Her shoes were made from some leather I had in the drawer. 

Her hair and flower are wool felt. All the detail work was hand embroidered. 
For now she has one little peasant top dress and a very small version of Mom's baby bibs (which I knit myself because I have finally learned how to do a very, very limited amount of knitting-- don't worry I won't be sending anyone scarves!)

Mayberry is also made of wool felt and hand sewn together. His (Her?) pattern was made up by me... super straight forward and simple. I wanted to be sure the baby could play/chew on this and there be no worries. 

To be practical a couple of felt hair clips and toy bags were also sent... because why not... I have such a hard time not making ALL THE THINGS for new babies.... 

Now who is having the next baby?? I am all out of pregnant friends!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Bella's Backpack

Here's a make from months ago that I never showed except on Instagram. Miss Bella needed a backpack for their trip to CA. I was very glad to help out with that. I am happy to say that the result matched the vision in my head. I found the grey polka dot at Joann's. It's a nice lighter weight canvas which has proven to be durable but was not hard to sew with the many layers I had going on.
The pattern is Made by Rae's Toddler Backpack. I've made it, I think, 6 times now and I still love it. It is easy to put your own twist on it because it is such a nicely done pattern. One add on was the front pocket. I was really winging it on this part and though I'd do some things different if I did it again, I love the way it looks.
I lined it and decided that a zippered pocket was a good idea. A welt zipper application kept it from being too cluttered inside when it's loaded up.
The piping is Kona Cotton in Salmon, if I am remembering correctly. Can I say yum?
To give it maximum structure, but still have the ability to sew it with out pulling my hair out,  I used Pellon Decor Bond on all of the main pieces including the lining. I actually use it in most of the bags I make. (Smaller bags only need a single layer. ) 
I wanted the back to be more comfortable for her when she wore it so just before I put it all together, I tacked in pieces of Annie's Soft and Stable. I ended up putting it in the back, front and bottom. It is extremely easy to sew, and gives more structure without much extra weight. Have you used this product? I've done a few things with it and I love it. 
Last but not least, I put a leather bottom on it. I am not sure if it helps much in durability or keeping it clean but I think it looks really cute.
I love seeing pictures of Bella wearing it around. I do wonder what all she has packed into it though....

Monday, March 2, 2015

French, French seamed travel bag

So I showed you the dress on Friday. We had one small square left and I was able to make a french seamed travel bag out of the left overs  

I think this is my favorite version of this bag!

The pattern even met up on top!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Roller Skate dress Provence Style

So lets not talk about how old this post is... or how this is one of the last photos  I have of Bella before she cut off her hair... I miss this hair so much! Maybe again someday....
This is pattern is Oliver and S's skater dress. We found this fabric at the Jacksonville Quilt Show back when Bella was itty bitty- about 5 months old. And bought it to make her something out of and then it promptly was lost in Moms sewing room. I only bought maybe a 1/2 yard of it so it was small. And when I reminded mom about it, it still took a bit to locate so it was about a solid year later that we were able to just eke out this dress. IT IS GORGEOUS. A bit short but WHO CARES I mean look at those adorable baby thighs!

We made it large so it should fit this summer still as a top. And then I will have to go find more of this fabric and make something bigger!

Do you see this kids calf muscles? She is ridiculous...

I am going to have to go squeeze her now. She has gotten so big the last couple months. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

For Matt

More water color - this time it was for Matt... he doesn't get many things done specifically for him. But everyone loves a little Dave Matthews Band- and we just went to see him this last summer in Jacksonville. So I made this for him when we found out about the new job. Now it is hanging in the living room. 

I don't post much about family life any more... but Matt is a pretty awesome guy. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Baby Dolls

I had no idea what to get Bella for Christmas. Two and a half year olds are hard to shop for especially when they are, shall we say, less then gentle. At the very last minute (very, very last) it hit me that a doll bed would be perfect.... Then I remembered, we now live in the land of no good retail stores (Jacksonville what is this?! I actually miss you!?) Last minute shopping brought no help until I happened to come across Danamadeit's baby doll basket pattern on pinterest. It was a life saver! Do you love instant download patterns as much as I do?  I bought it, and was able to find most everything  else in my stash. One quick trip to Joann's and I was good to go.
I made some slight modifications- one being heavier interfacing, because I wanted it to be very rigid. 
If you are want to make one I think the pattern is worth getting but I personally would not define this as a beginner pattern- even though I felt it should be. I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't as exact as I felt it should be for being a pattern you pay for. She over/under explains some parts of the process to the point of confusion. This is just my opinion. And as I stated, I would purchase it again because it took some of the guess work out of making a cute doll bed and I LOVE how it turned out!  (I just want to be clear if you go to grab it to make) 

These poor babies have been mostly naked for two years. It is impossible to find clothing for the tiny cabbage patches. I finally decided to bust out some additional clothing for them (what is it that makes you not want to do these projects and then when you finally break down and tackle them, they are so easy you wonder why you didn't do them sooner?) The left is a from scratch little peasant style dress. I just winged it and it worked out. The right one is one of Bellas baby dresses cut up and reused to created the same dress at 40% the size. 
She loved the gift when she finally stopped asking where the babies mommy was. It was funny and sweet how concerned she was opening up the box, she was more worried the babies mom left had them, then realizing they were her dolls.... she was very happy when she found out she was their mommy.... now if she would just take care of them and put their clothes back on! 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Isabella - an embroidered portrait

I wasn't sure how this project would turn out so it hasn't even been instagramed-- 
WHAT?! I know! 
We headed up to the Sacramento area for a week after the new year to hang with family while Matt was on a business trip. I wanted to take something with me to do... and I had pinned a couple of embroidered portraits for ever ago... though mine ended up looking nothing like the originals.....
I LOVE IT! It took hours. HOURS. I think I worked on it for a couple weeks in my free time.

 So much fun to play with thread like this. 
 I snapped some in progress shots- first I found a photo I liked and then I traced it onto the fabric and used that as my guidelines. As you can see there was trial and error. I started the embroidery with straight stitching as in my original pin and then hated it so ripped it out and did more searching for portrait embroidering and decided to go more organic with it. 

I jumped all over trying to make sure I was going to be happy with the overall look

Once I felt comfortable that it was going to work out I went down to the super labor intensive/time consuming clothing part. I really wanted it to look like her clothing 

 Here's a comparison. I was almost done but something wasn't right. So photoshopping them together helped point out the problem. Somehow her chin had gotten pointy in the transfer so I pulled out the bottom of her chin and redid it rounded 
just pulling up that chin made the whole face look right. 

P.S. If you check out my Pinterest Embroidery board you can find a lot of really neat examples of this type of embroidery.