Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

little shop update

just a quick note to say there are new bags in the shop! and two bears too.

have a great weekend!

japanese bag

I made another nursing bag for a friend (babies all over the place these days). This time I wanted to make a styley one from a japanese craft book I picked up a while back. Normally, I wouldn’t ever buy a book about bags, I mean it’s just a couple of rectangles sewn together, but of course this japanese one was too awesome to pass up. For all those in the midwest who are interested, I got mine at Mitsuwa outside Chicago. It’s a japanese supermarket/bookstore/cafe and it’s super close to Ikea, which just makes it even better. I know they say the diagrams in japanese craft books make them easy to understand, but really I think you need to know how to make it (whatever it is) before you start. This bag really is two rectangles sewn together, which I can do thankyouverymuch, but the circle detail is the cool part and I’ll be damned if I can figure out what the directions say. So I just made it up. I cut out the front piece slightly bigger than the back. Then sewed circles with the longest stitch on my machine. I pulled the bobbin thread to gather the circles a little–they don’t have to be perfect and really irregular gathers look better. Then I sewed around the circles again a bunch of times with contrasting thread to secure the gathers. I pressed it, then sewed the rest of the bag together. The other nice detail on this bag was the twisted handles. I think I “misread” the directions and pressed the seam of the handle to the middle, which sucks, it would look nicer if it was hidden on the edge, but whatever. I still think the idea of twisted handles is great and I’ll use it again for sure.

see more of the book here and here and here.

spring shop update

I have stocked my little shop in quite some time, but I’m trying to make it look presentable again. There are four new kiddy messenger bags in some pretty fantastic prints: Heather Ross (who I hear won’t be designing fabric for a while–damn!), Alexander Henry, and the Japanese line Kokka, most of them lined with vintage gingham.  I also made the little bear from that awesome Kokka forest print. His name is Julien and he is the first bear of mine stuffed with 100% wool. I need to look around a bit more for wool stuffing, because damn it’s expensive, but so much nicer to work with than sucky poly fil (anyone have a good wool hook up?).  I’m moving to use only natural materials for the stuff I sell. The bags are now lined with cotton twill, because interfacing is weird and god only knows what it’s made of. I switched to using  cotton thread a while ago, mostly because it just sews so much nicer than polyester thread. And now the stuffing is wool, but I do use foam for my diggers and tugboats and I just don’t know what natural material could give them that same structure.  Anyone have any ideas? I will always use vintage and thrifted fabric even though I’m sure most have some polyester in them, but their coolness factor makes up for that. right?

bunny bean bags

I didn’t just lurch my pregnant self off the couch and whip these up after the last post. No, I made them last year, but they were such a hit I thought I’d share. Actually I dug these out of the Easter box a few months ago, desperate for some quiet playtime on a very cold winter day. These bunnies have been pancakes and cookies, baseballs and money (bunny money!) and plain old bean bags too. I took this picture right after I made them and good thing I did because they are sad, dirty grey bunnies now, but still loved.  I stole the idea and design from the wonderfully talented Courtney at two straight lines. Hers are of course much nicer and she even made a cabbage to toss them into! It’s a quick project–one that can be done the night before Easter if you are anything like me. I started on a bunny project yesterday that I’m very excited about–we’ll see if it get’s done in time for Easter. What are you making for your kiddo’s baskets?

the kidlet

My friends came up with this wonderful tradition of creating a “nursing bag” when one of us has our second  baby. I don’t know if it’s customary to have baby showers for the second baby, but really, why not have a party (especially if it involves fondue). So when there is a baby shower for a second (or third or fourth) one of us makes a bag and the rest of us stuff it full of crayons and stickers and little games–things to appease the older child with while you nurse the baby for the thousandth time that day. I volunteered to make the nursing bag this time and couldn’t decide whether to make a little kid’s bag or a stylish one for the mama, so instead of either I made a bag for the house.  The pattern is from the ever talented jchandmade and you can find it here. I thought it would be good to have one upstairs and one downstairs, so I made two. They are super easy to make and I have another cut out for all the random little bits around our house. I followed the pattern pretty much to the letter, except I fused the interfacing to the lining because I don’t like that wrinkly look it gives to the fabric and I didn’t have any “cotton webbing” (and honestly I don’t even know what it is) so I just made a handle by sewing 2 strips together, turning them out and quilting them.  Now go make your own.