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Sew Forth and Sew On

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Purse

I like fun purses.  Last fall we went to a craft fair when my parents were here visiting.  At one booth, the lady was selling a variety of hand made purses and bags.  The coke print of one particular purse caught my eye, but on closer look, the whole design and make of the purse attracted me even more.

 I bought the purse.  My mom went right home and made a pattern from it and made herself a purse.  I decided that I wanted to try out the purse before I put too much effort into making one.  At first, I did not like the purse, but after a month the design really grew on me and I decided that I was ready to make one.  I even knew some changes that I wanted to make to the original pattern, like a way to hold the purse by the handles and closures on the purse and its pockets. On our last trip to Idaho to see my parents, Mom and I cut out and started to sew a purse for me.  This purse definitely tested my sewing skills and patience during construction.  I learned from the experience and know many things I will do differently on the construction of another purse.  On my purse, I made the lining and the outside of the purse separately and then sewed the two pieces together by folding the outside fabric over the lining and stitching.  Next time, I will sew the lining and the outside piece right sides together and turn the purse through the bottom of the lining.  In doing this, I will have to make the lining match the outside piece which will use a little more fabric, but will be much easier than hiding the raw edges on the part that folds over the handles.  

For the strap, I sewed and turned a tube.  Next time I will sew down the middle of the strap folding the edges in.  That will be much easier especially when hand sewing the strap closed.  I added velcro tabs to the large pocket in the lining and the front pocket.  I was also going to put a piece by the handles to close the purse.  The handle holds the purse closed when it is on your shoulder, but when you set it down, the purse can easily open and spill.  I decided not add this piece of velcro to my new purse yet to see how well it will do without it. If it turns out that it has the same problem as the original I will add it later. Because I wanted to embroidery on the front pocket, Mom and I left the side seam open to put the pocket on.  By doing this, more hand sewing had to be done.  I am not the best hand sewer, so hopefully it will hold up over time. 

All in all, the purse turned out pretty nice and I am excited to use it.  I am also excited to make another one and try my changes to the pattern.  I am not one to change my purse very often so, like sock monsters, I don't know what I am going to do with yet another purse.  

P.S. Dad made the handles.  Thanks Dad.  They work great.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Here's Eddy.
Spag-Eddy is my latest sock monster creation.  I had a lot of fun sewing him and learn several new things as well.  It was not easy to find solid color socks that I wanted to use for Spag-Eddy.  I finally had to settle on the ones that I used.  The dread locks were fun to make, and I learned a lot.
I have only worked with cording a very few times before.  I learned first to be extra careful not to catch the cording and second with each lock, I became better at finishing the ends, a more smooth, rounded ends instead of a flatten sewn together end.  I decided on Spag-Eddy to use the plastic eyes instead of buttons because of the black body.  I thought they stood out more.  You may also be wondering why the striped lips.  Same reason, to make them stand out.  I did not realize how much the black would hide.  Next time, I will do the trick the book suggests and replace the heel or lips with a heel piece from a different color sock. In my attempt to make these monsters look happier, I gave Spag-Eddy wobbly lips.  I don't think he looks any happier, but the wobbly lips match his googley eyes.  I made the apron as well.
Spag-Eddy does not have shoulders to hold the apron up, so I had to sew the apron strap quite tight around his neck.   My husband thinks the apron should be shorter so you can see his legs, but I like the longer apron.  I want to get him a small wooden spoon.  I have seen them before, but I guess not at Wal-Mart.  So, I will keep looking.
I am giving thought to the next sock monster.  I have some fun socks that I picked up it Vegas on our last visit.  The problem is though, even with how much I love to make these monsters and enjoy the creative progress involved with them and how much I learn, I am running out of places to put them.  Can anyone provide a good home for a sock monster? 

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Snoopy Sheet

Look at what my mom found for me. I am so excited. Yes, I know it is just an old sheet, but it has so many possibilities. Because it is a little worn, I will use it to make a quilt, just a lap quilt, throw around the house type thing. I have two ideas for the quilt though. Because the design is so cute, my first thought is to try and keep as much of the sheet together as possible. In other words, use it as the top of the quilt. My second thought though is to cut out the characters and applique them to quilt squares and then make the quilt. I am leaning towards the second idea. This would allow me to only use the best parts of the sheet. I can make the quilt more colorful or even a denim rag quilt. The quilt will withstand more, and last longer. On the other side though, it will take longer to make. But, for such cute Peanuts designs the work and time is worth it. Unfortunately, this is one of those projects that gets tucked it the box labeled "someday". Isn't Someday after Wednesday??

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hats Off

Warmer weather is here. With the arrival of the warmer weather, the neighbor, Mike, put away his stocking caps and pulled out his summer hat, only to find that his summer hat died last year. He brought the hat to me and asked if there was any chance that I could make him a new hat. He said that new hats in the stores were too small, and really needed one the same size as his old one. The challenge of constructing Mike a hat sparked my interest, so I told him I would give it a try. Since mending the hat was out of the question, I tore it apart to use as a pattern. With just three pattern pieces, I made the first hat out of a scrap of denim I had in the closet. It was fun to make and worked up quite fast. I did not put a lot of detail into its construction (I did not line the hat and I surged the brim onto the cap) because I wanted a prototype for Mike to try. After he wore it for a little while, he could tell me if it needed any changes. After a couple of days, Mike said he had no changes for the hat, so I tried another hat. On the second hat, I took the time to look for fabric in my stash (Note: I did not buy any fabric), to embroider on the front and to stitch in the ditch around the brim so that it had a cleaner finish. I still did not line the second hat. The hats were fun and easy to make and I was surprised that they did not require more time to construct. As I sewed the second hat, I had lots of ideas for more hats. So, now, added to my list of projects to do someday is make more hats.

Monday, April 14, 2008

F.A. (Fabriholics Anonymous)

One yard too many? Can one really have too much fabric? I use to say no, absolutely not! But, as of today, I say YES, you bet! We spent last week in Idaho, visiting family and friends, and buying fabric. Mom gave me some great pieces of fabric and then we went fabric shopping. I boxed it up all nicely and brought it home. As I loaded it into the closet with the rest of my stash, it became very heavy. I have so much that I don't remember what all I have or even which box a specific piece is in even if I did remember it. I have started to say that my hobby is not sewing, but fabric collecting. So, as of today, I will not buy fabric for 1 year! (Except for Snoopy fabric.) Bear in mind that I made this same oath in September of last year after our last trip to Idaho. I did well until we went to M&L Fabrics in California in late October where I promptly fell off the wagon. But, I am back on the wagon now and ready to go. When we made the big move to Arizona, I thought about getting rid of my stash, but after seeing that the only source of fabric in this town is Wal-mart, I moved my entire stash and bought more. So, I truly do believe that I have too much fabric, and the only solution is to get creative, get sewing, and stop adding to the problem. Wish me luck.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Shirt

Bright colors are in. At least, that is what I read in Sew News. I hope so, because this is a new shirt for me. I fell in love with this fabric when I saw it in the fabric store, but it has lived in my stash for a long time. I got the buttons from my mom and just decided the other day that it was time for this particular fabric to leave the stash. The shirt turned out pretty good. For some reason, it is a little shorter than I would like. I can not figure out why either. I cut it from my basic sloper pattern. I was also smart enough this time not to try the bad black interfacing that I am supposed to be throwing away, so I did not have that problem to contend with. Sewing on decorative buttons is an interesting job. They do not sit nicely in the button foot of my machine, so it took at little extra patience and time to get these buttons sewed on, but I like them on this shirt, so it was worth the extra effort.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Last week, we went to Las Vegas for a concert. While we were there, we stopped in at FAO Schwarz in the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. Take a guess at what they are selling. Yep, stupid sock monsters. I couldn't believe it. They are called KnitWits and cost $25 apiece. At first, I was disappointed to see that the sock monsters were being mass produced and sold in a retail store, but then I got excited by the many ideas they inspired. I am particularly excited about how these sock monsters were given eyes and lips. I am also going to make my ears or horns longer like the KnitWits, and I think displaying them from a clothes line with a clothes pin is so cute and a fabulous idea. I am excited to incorporate these ideas into my monsters. I wish I had the same source of socks that the KnitWit makers have. They have fun socks and great ideas for their monsters.