Beach School Sewing, finale.

image a set of pencil bags for all the kids in one family (1 boy, 2 girls, all coordinating so they can't fight over them!)


beachy pot-holders


vintage-y potholders


and then just a little playing around... I was thinking of making a little bag for my new phone, but it might need to be turned into a hot-pad or something.  I really like looking at this fabric...

Final prototype

OOOOH! Squee! I am in LOOOOOOVE. My new bag is exactly what I want, and I just whipped this final puppy up in about an hour (not including cutting, which might have taken almost 1/2 an hour). Simple and clean and FUNCTIONAL and (if I do say so myself) CUTE!!!  Here it is empty:


It's still a tad stiff, it definitely needs to be broken in a bit, and the pins attaching the bag straps to the handles need to be replaced with BIG HUGE shiny gold (to match the metal zipper) O-rings, (hopefully Home Depot will have what I want?)

but it's a perfect bag.


That's my old bag (still full) stuffed inside the new one. (also my old iphone and a pen showing off the interior pockets. there's a zip pocket on the side closest to the camera, but I couldn't photograph both sides clearly). The new one is super roomy thanks to the curved and bagged bottom. The leather version is going to have bag feet, too, but this one didn't need them. it's washable cotton, after all. (BTW, the lining is some cheapo red fabric that I bought a whole bolt of at a thrift store for like 3 bucks, and am still working through. I wanted something light and not busy for the lining, and this totally works)


here's the bag exterior, unzipped, crammed with my old bag. The fabric needs to soften and slouch a bit, but it's still got a great shape, right?


and here it is all zipped up (and full.) I really like the spiky-up corners. hopefully the middle will slouch more as time goes on, but the metal zipper is REALLY stiff. I wouldn't have tried a metal zip, except that I've had this particular one for like 9 years, and never used it, and I just wanted it OUT of my zipper box.

I'm not going to cut into the leather tonight, because it's too pricy, and I need to think about cutting layout on the piece I have, so I think I'm going to go work on my TTC quilt some more (shocking, right?)

Bag planning...

We went downtown yesterday to buy leather. Man, shopping on a busy day in the garment district with 2 kids is stressful. image

the Bean talked me into that pre-ruffled magenta knit. It's going to be a very simple a-line dress.

I need a new handbag. I originally thought I might just remake this Hobo International bag that died a few years ago. (I kept it for leather instruction/inspiration)...


btw, that's the new leather on the right, and Kona Emerald on top. it's almost a perfect match.

I sketched some basic ideas outside with the kiddos this morning..


made some paper patterns from old newspaper....


and sewed up 2 different ideas (one on each side)


this has 2 handles, (one on each side), with support strips (a la my original HI bag)


and this one is more hobo-esque, with just 1 handle...

When they were laying flat on the floor, I like this hobo one better, but I decided to see them hanging:


and I don't love this hobo one as much hanging...


and I DO love this one, so this idea is the winner! I *THINK* I'm going to put a zipper closure, but I'm not totally sure yet... I'm going to go sit outside with the kiddos again, and read through Making Leather Handbags and the Bag Making Bible, and see how to do it...

(I think the final bag will be lined with this fabric, which I LOOOOOVE)


Valentine blocks!

20120204-202724.jpg I pieced the valentines blocks for the teacher-gift bags I'm hoping to make tomorrow. I actually took a long nap, so I have energy to keep going, but I wanna photograph the steps, so I have to wait till tomorrow. But I got the blocks done, so I'm counting it a a done project.

20120204-202957.jpg I bought a little of this heart fabric at Sew Modern last week, and LOVE it. As does the Bean. Expect to see more.


A sweet birthday present...

20120204-103738.jpg We've got some little girl birthdays coming up, so I decided to use some of my Anne Kelle lollipop and ice cream cone scraps (I think... It's all a blur from market) with some random other scraps to work on this zippered bag idea again...

20120204-104050.jpg Last time the zipper was too high, this time it's too low, but I'm getting closer.

20120204-104242.jpg I think I'll do one more... Just to make it perfect. Now I have to figure out what to stuff inside the bag....

More bags...


I was lucky enough to go on retreat with my guild (<3 LAMQG), and we had a spontaneous little zippered pouch lesson... I showed people how to put fabric tabs on their zippers, so I made up some samples, using scraps from our retreat scrap pile...I made the animal one for the Bean, the outer space one for D, and the floral one as a thank you for my MIL (who stayed with the kiddos for the 4 days while I was gone)




I have tons of back logged blog posts, but this makes my too happy to wait...

This bag is my tester, to see if I could figure out how to set the zipper in below the top edge, without having to cut the front into 2 pieces. Of course, this method means that tabbing my zippers is completely unhelpful, but at least I figured out the hard part.Side note: my house smells lively because the Jasmine is all blooming and beautiful. I love LA winters. 20120202-150510.jpg


20120202-150553.jpg Oh, and my apologies for all the tester/missing posts. I'm trying to figure out how to post via email, and somehow neither I nor my very smart hubs can figure it out....

Laminate. Ick.

Ok, so I LOVE the finished product, but working with laminated cotton isn't all that much fun. Tonight, instead of quilts, I got to make some really cute bags and bibs from some REALLY cute fabrics...

20110926-233945.jpgThese bibs were made with the pattern in "Simple Sewing for Baby" by Lotta Jansdotter (I'm SO proud of the pattern matching on the center Cat in the Hat bib!)

20110926-234108.jpg Poochie Bags by Happy Zombie, in AWESOME Dr. Seuss laminate. Now I just need to make 3 or 4 Oliver + S raincoats from more cute laminated cotton. Maybe tomorrow?

New bag (and a name request)


I'm a total dork. One late night last week, I changed my start-up screen on my sewing machine so it greets me now. I laugh everytime I see it. 20110918-083521.jpg
Here's another quilt top for market, the Lorax in the Bright colorway... D really wants me to make him the one in the Earth colorway. Not sure when THAT's gonna happen.

Check out my new bag! I fell in love with a similar bag my friend Catey had (Hi Catey!) because of the zipper and the handle, so yesterday I drafted it and whipped out this muslin: (which is being modeled by my LOVELY friend Jenny)

I'm working on another one right now... Obvi, it has a zipper inner pocket and a cell pocket, and plenty of room for wallet, notebook, and knitting, without being too huge. I'm also gonna draft a version to make this into a toddler-mom bag. it's not quite big enough for diapers, but is totally big enough for 2 sippy cups and a few toy cars or a crayon roll up. (Julie's request. I loooove requests)
20110918-083447.jpg It could use a name though. Other than Catey's Bag, which is how I've been thinking of it. I was also thinking of something alliterative with Hobo, since it's a hobo bag. The name I like best wins the finished pattern, and the notions to make your own. (if there are multiple entries with the same best name, I'll randomly select one) Thank you!

a million dirty* bags....

or maybe just 39?

My kids are lucky enough to go to school here, in Abalone Cove, at thePortuguese Bend Nursery School (Beach School). It is a parent participation school, (aka co-op), and its IN THE SAND ON THE BEACH.  crazy cool. Anyway, we try to be green, and this year we're eradicating our snack trash by using plastic cups, bowls, plates (we have at least a year's worth of utensils, so we're going to finish off those before we buy re-usable ones)...

To that end, I was asked to make each child (plus the teachers, plus a few extra in case of loss) a snack kit bag. Given our scenic location, the Pres and I chose this fishy fabric (school colors are blue and white, and then the younger class is yellow, the older class is red, so this print incorporated all the appropriate colors as well as the theme), and I got a lot of zippers (super awesome metal ones from here), and a ROLL of PUL (polyurethane laminate, used for cloth diapers, and other waterproof-fabric-needs), and some cotton webbing (the blue handles), and I went to work!

I made one for Teacher Sandy, and one for Teacher Faith:

 (in retrospect, a more contrasty color would have been a good idea. oh well)

And one for each Red Bird (like my son!) and each Yellow Bird (ditto, daughter)



It's a little bit pretty here, right?  BTW, we are totally and completely full for the 3 year old class, but if you live in the South Bay of LA, and want a ridiculously awesome pre-school for a RIDICULOUSLY low price (like, because we're a co-op, we're the cheapest in the area), we DO have a spot in the Red Bird class (must be age 4 by November 2). PLEASE pass this info on to anyone who might be interested!!!!


* (Dirty Bags are what cloth-diapering people call this kind of bag, but these are very clean, I promise)