Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sew, Sew and Sew

Hi Knitters,
First things first, Rachel, of Twist Your Stitches, is having a fantastic giveaway that involves luscious Blue Sky Alpacas Yarn, a Blue Sky pattern for a hat and mitten set, a Blue Sky Pretty Cheap bag (sweet muslin drawstring bags printed with a bird), handmade soap, and a children's book that involves sheep. This giveaway is only going on one more day! Quick, all you have to do is leave a comment and you have a good shot at winning these fantastic prizes. Enter here!

Okay, when you are piecing squares together (photo above), like for quilting I guess, what do you do with the seams on the back? Do you press them open? Do you trim and lay them flat in the same direction? I have no idea what the correct way is. Please let me know if you get a chance:)

Thank you for the bobbin help! With all of your help I actually figured it out and it was exciting. I jumped up and down and clapped and my kids thought I was so silly. Wow, I not only got comments, I got emails and emails and I even had an offer from a former sewing instructor in town to pop on over to help. I couldn't believe the willingness to offer help. Thank you. Touching. 
Lexie Barnes' Sew What! Bags is my new favorite book. Lexie does a fantastic job with this straightforward instructional book. What I love about it is that basically it is a template for a wide variety of bag patterns. It is done incredibly well, like all Storey book are. Even a complete beginner, like me, can pick this up and make beautiful bags. Lexie includes drawstring bags, reversible totes, messenger bags, wristlets, tissue and eyeglass holders, a backpack, an artist's roll, and a child's tiny tote and more. There is a great array of choices and the lay out is crystal clear. There is a helpful newbie, instructional section at the beginning which I have read through at least several times. I have learned so much from Lexie's book. I highly recommend it.

Here's the other point about this book. If you are interested in knitting your bags, you could totally use this book as, again, a template for your knitting. The pieces for each bag are clearly illustrated with the measurements. All you would have to do is knit your pieces to the measurements and stitch up and you could have all of these great bag patterns in knitted form. I think this is a perfect translation.
Here is my first reversible tote. I have a couple of stacks of Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop and Drawing Room fat quarters. I am piecing together some tote bags for my girls and me using up these fabric pieces and scraps.
I did a bunch of applique work, which is so fun. I just kind of scribbled around with the straight stitch, which I am calling the "scribble stitch" because I think it looks like a little kid just scribbled around the pieces. I love the messy stitching.
Every side is different because I am using scraps and small pieces. My girls love the fact that every way you turn the bag you see something new.

Now, I added rounded gussets to the bottom corners, which are not in the original pattern. I like my bags to stand up on their own. I learned this gusset from my first bag, the Birdie Sling by Amy Butler. I had a lot of people email to ask where to get the Birdie Sling pattern so there is the link. I bought all of my Amy Butler fabric and patterns here. Those are some really nice and helpful sewing ladies in this shop. They have been incredibly helpful. But see with those gussets? I am already transferring my limited bag of tricks around.
My seams are a little uneven but I don't mind a bit and I doubt that I ever will. It is just a pure fun creative release for me and there is no need for perfection in my book. These bags are completely reversible with nice pockets included. Plus they are the perfect size.
I've already carried this bag around a bit and have received many compliments and then I always proudly think in my head, "I made it." I can't really believe it myself.
This one is the Collector's bag. She selected all of the fabric pieces and cut out all of her applique pieces on her own. Her name is on one side, she cut out the letters, and she cut out some hearts for the other side.
She absolutely loves it. She requested shorter handles. No problem.
This is my other daughter's bag. Again, it is reversible.
This time I cut out strips and stitched them together to form the fabric. They are all different widths and many are a little uneven and I didn't even really measure. This is more my kind of sewing.
Anna Maria's fabric is beautiful and fun. Her color sense is spot on. This bag turned out a bit smaller.
Happy little sewer! That's me. I feel pretty good about being able to sew a few simple things. I don't know how much time I will really have to sew in the upcoming months. I have a lot of things on my plate but boy, is it fun. I want to keep it up for sure. At this point I am not that interested in sewing garments. I like bags and funny little objects. Maybe some fabric toys are in line. I love it that you can just cut and you have your fabric instantly. With knitting you are creating your fabric stitch by stitch. However, much of the construction is the same. 

Knitting and sewing are alike and different at the same time, right?

Anyway, go and enter that giveaway today! 

Thanks for indulging me on my new sewing adventures, they will be few and far between. I actually finished writing a pattern yesterday that has been haunting me for awhile. 

Did you see that I posted the tiny crochet flower pattern on the other blog? Remember I stitched them to my chartreuse cardi? Look here if you want this simple pattern.

The sun is coming up and my kids will be up in a few minutes for that early, early swim team call. Have a great Wednesday, Knitters.
best, susie