Saturday, May 30, 2009



Melissa, if you were hoping for a surprise, this will be a spoiler. If you want to take a sneak-peek, this is it. To keep the secret, until you scroll down, here is another look the wonderful, batik fabric I'll be working with next.

This is my latest wrap. This time, since I didn't have much in the way of lengths of blue fabric, I went scrappy.
Front pockets and are accented with the diagonal strips. Which isn't so easy to tell from this picture.
Here is the back of the skirt, showing the ties full-length.
You really don't get the width of the hem with these pictures. Not only is Rita fat, she also is really lazy and refuses to spin on command.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It's a Wrap!

Busy, busy.I took my standard A-line skirt, added some additional panels and came up with this wrap skirt. It is basically a proof-of-concept skirt. I didn't have enough fabric to make it longer, so this short version is what I ended up with.
The length is 26 inches, with an intended waist of 30 or so inches. I think I overshot the mark by about three inches. The two panels to either side of the center-front are an embroidered denim. Each of these side panels also has a pocket that will keep those of us that need pockets happy. All of the top-stitching is in coordinating colors.

Please, let me know what you think, or make recommendations. As always, comments are welcome.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The bag spell is broken!

It's only temporary, I assure you. Today I finished a skirt. I would have finished two, but there was a small problem with my local fabric store. That's right, holidays aren't just for government employees and banks.I learned a few things while making this skirt.

1. Purchasing fabric online is an adventure. You don't really know what you're going to get. This is a very light weight denim. I was expecting something a little more substantial. Also, I ordered three yards and got two plus one. That is not the same thing as three yards.

2. If you neglect to wash this questionable, not-what-you-ordered fabric you will end up with very blue hands. I guess color-fast doesn't count until the first few washings.

3. Always buy more 7" zippers than you think you'll need. That's right, one simple $2.00 item kept me from finishing a project. It would have also been wise to call the store before I drove half-way across town.

4. Planning a wrap skirt, based on the same pattern will take considerably more fabric. "Of course" you say. I know, but I won't need a zipper.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bex Bag, A How To...

I'm going to attempt to cover the steps in making one of my bags.

I just hope it all makes sense. I'm not going the show the layout of pattern or cutting. I will show the major steps involved.

The first thing I do is work up the strap. Granted, it's just one small part of the bag, but takes several passes through the machine to be ready. Sew the top seams on the inner and outer straps, then sew the two together. Finally, turn and press.Next, I sew the body of the bag and the flap.Then, I press the bag so the bottom and side seams line up. This is how I get the shaping for the bottom of the bag. In this picture of the lining, you can see the opening left at the bottom of the bag. This will be used to turn the bag right-side out. I'm measuring just over three inches from the corner and marking where the stitching will be.I've marked the lining for the bottom shaping. This is repeated on both sides of the bottom of the lining and the bag. I usually make the lining just slightly deeper than the bag itself. This makes the lining fit inside a little better.Then I tack the pointy bits (yes, that is a technical term) to the bottom of the bag. Not strictly required, but it does keep the bits where you want them once you turn the bag. Repeat for the lining, being careful not to sew up the opening in the bottom.Then I turn the bag and press to make the shape a little more defined.I center the strap over the side seams and center the flap across the back. The front of the bag from the back isn't really easy to see with this simple bag. Sometimes, I sew a pocket on the front.
Then I put the lining over the bag, matching seams as I go. Almost done. Sew across the top, binding the lining to the strap and the flap.Pull the whole thing out through the hole in the lining. Yes, it looks silly, but that is temporary. Shove the lining into the bag and press.All that remains is to sew up the bottom of the lining. A project best left for hand sewing. If you're careful, it won't even be noticeable.
Here are two other bags I completed today. A little playing about with the fabric and they each have three pockets inside and one just under the flap.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

When will she run out of bags?

Who knows. Perhaps I never will.

I just keep making bags. Still the same pattern, just small modifications.

I have a new take on the bag, I'm still working on the first couple, though. No pictures, yet.

I haven't updated pictures of the puppies lately, so here is a picture of Baby. She is attempting to hide from me and the camera.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Yes, more bags

I finished up a couple of these yesterday and the green one was a product of Mother's Day.

The one in the middle is a larger size, much more suitable for those of us that need to carry more than just a small knitting project. While the others are more suitable to hold something like a hat or pair of socks, the larger bag could hold much more.

I got a little more adventuresome with the lining by adding a couple pockets to the green bag.

I still have fabric and ideas. I'm sure I'll continue along these lines for a while. I think I'm shooting for an even dozen before opening my Etsy store.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Bex Bags, the Saga Continues

Yes, more bags.

I've been working on blue, primarily to work through a color of fabric and to keep from having to change the thread too often.

From left to right:

The last of the pretty rayon print is the flap for this dark blue denim bag.

Somewhere I picked up some suede-like fabric. Pretty, but my sewing machine isn't a fan.

Lastly, the corduroy embroidered with pretty butterflies.

I've also drafted the same pattern in a larger size. I'm off to create a big bag out of heavy denim.

After that... I think I'm out of blue fabric. Perhaps green is next.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Bex Bag No. 1

There was a crafting emergency at my house.

I needed to make a bag. I needed to make a bag so badly it affected my sleep.

Step one: Create the pattern. Why? Don't you have a pattern? Well, yes, I do have a few bag patterns, but I wanted something in a shape I couldn't find in my collection. Pencil, graph paper, ruler--GO!

Step two: Toss and turn all night due to ideas spinning through your head.

Step three: Transfer pattern to even bigger graph paper.

Step four: Find some fabric. I wandered all over the house, the garage, the basement, anywhere fabric might be hiding. Finally, I found all the "possible" bags. As you can see from the first picture, I managed to find enough fabric to create bags from today until, oh, the end of the year. Maybe. I need to stop hoarding.

Step five: Goodness, haven't you cut anything out by now? Quick, pick two... okay, three... fabrics that match well enough to go into one bag. Most likely only need two, but three is better.

Hmmm... what time is dinner?

Step six: Grab that pattern, the fabric and start cutting. Go, go, go! Realize this fabric really needs some support, find some more fabric to use as interfacing. Cut that out. Sew the shell fabric to the interfacing. Oh, much better.

Step seven: Assemble all the pieces. Sew, press, repeat. Finally, a bag!

Step Eight: Sleep well, knowing that the horrible, wonderful, creative idea has been born into the world. ::Sigh::

Next stop: integrating pockets, zippers and the like. Since this is the prototype, it can be simple.

The first picture shows the bag with the flap closed. Also, since the straps are actually separate, you can tie them either long, for a bag that goes across your body, or tie them short for a shoulder bag.

The bottom of the bag is approximately 4"x10", the bag is 11" across the top and 10" deep.

Comments, as always, are welcome.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Scrap Happens

That's right, scrap happens.

I wanted to make a quilt. I did not want to drag out pile after pile of fabric to do it. I decided to hit the scrap bins to see what I could come up with.

This is what you get when you always seem to make a few extra blocks.

All the blocks are the wonderful 6"x6" size that works up quickly and makes the sizing for the finished size easy to figure.

I counted the different quilts that contributed to this quilt. I was tired of counting after a dozen. All it needs now is backing, batting and a good binding. Yes, the binding is scrappy, too.

The only step after that is finding it a home.