Thursday, May 31, 2012

A real ice cream top

Pattern: McCall's M6022 (7-8-9-10)

Fabric: DS Quilts Collection- Meadow Lark Circle On Tonal Orange
              Ice Cream print  Lisette for Fabric  Tradition  
 { both fabric were purchased at Joann's}

Finished S' new top this afternoon! Cut the pattern and fabric yesterday then spend the afternoon sewing and ripping seams off and sewing back! Growing up I always {wish} my mom could sew me something. The only thing that she helped me out was a felted bunny for my middle school's home and economic project. Mom is a greatest cook that I ever known in my life, but not sewing at our home back in TW.

Even though the pattern size is 7, but still big for S' chest. She is too skinny! The ice cream print fabric is very silky and soft. It is great for summer dress and pants. I plan to make another top with the same print for her soon.

The puffy sleeves are different from the pattern. I used fine elastic to make the sleeves closure smaller!  It was too big and doesn't fit for her body well.  What I like about this pattern is easy to follow and gives clear diagram on each step. Sewing clothes is not new to me anymore, but I still feel nervous when I began cutting the pattern and fabric. It is always exciting to see her wear something I made and that makes me feel good about it!

Today is a beautiful day! I am bring the dresser home today from the wood shop!Very excited about it!! I will be reorganized fabric and also move around our furniture. I will show you the new drawer and a big mistake that I made while I was drilling the holes..   

I shall be off here now ...


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

{Messenger bag in patchwork style}

{Messenger bag in patchwork style}! It was a bit hard to decided on the handles and cross strap for this bag.  I didn't add the leather for this bag. While making this bag I did a couple simple look and stood away to see if it is a good fit,  but didn't think it was a good fit for this bag. Instead of leather I added carry handles and cross strap for this bag at the same time. I have couple thoughts behind it as I was making it.

The cross strap was purchased form Joann's. It is 3.99 a yard  then I have a 40% off coupon. One yard was enough for S! The handles are linen and cotton blended fabric. It is more sturdy and the color matches well with the patchwork bag.
As Stella grows up more. She wants to be like a bigger girl who can carry her bag not just backpack, but on her shoulders and hands.  Then I though why not give her both! She can carry it the way she is comfortable with.  She was so surprised to see how this bag turn out when I gave it to her last night!  { lots xoxox}

Like a big girl carries her bag on one shoulder! This reminded me when I was in the middle school when I was in uniform everyday and carried same bags like other classmates.

 Handles ready for her to carry?

 handles on the shoulder?

 crossover body strap?

I added a little trim on the shoulder. It brings out a the zakka style look. I though if she is going somewhere I can catch her with the blue trims.

I used the magnet snaps for her! It works great for her! It helps to close up the bag and keeps everything inside safe. I did used light weight interfacing for the lining!

 Little button was a small touch to this bag! 

S is very happy with her new big girl messenger bag!  The straps is longer than I would like, but she told me that she will grow out of it very soon.. oh dear.... 

Here are few posts  that I share on the process of making patchwork tote/bag  

Please join me and other friends at made with {1/4"} in flickr. We love see what your patchwork style looks like. 



{ Take Five} : Materials and tools

Today will wrap up the {patchwork take} and share few tutorial links with you at the end of the post. Today I will talk about tools and material that I used for the { patchwork tote edition } { patchwork handbag} and {Patchwork tote}. Many of  you have a nice room for sewing, but S and I share a long, but narrow table together! You probably have heard that we complain about each other often.. since I couldn't have everything spread out, I use a found basket for major tools.  I prefer small rotary cutter than the bigger ones. It really just nice for my hands. Few seam rippers around when I make mistakes. Sewing foot that use the most is right next to the sewing machine! Something that works for me, but I wish someday I have a big table that I can have everything out. 

Many of you have ask the leather handles that I used in { patchwork tote edition}. There's a leather store near by my home. I went there and didn't see any fancy leather handles instead of straps of leather in different width. Leather is EXPENSIVE! Be sure if this is something you are looking for your future projects. Otherwise it can cost you more than you would like! I got one strap less than 2 yards was 12.00 then another small piece was 6.99, but these are the good leather. I have been carrying the same tote since I made it and the leather has becoming soft and comfortable.   Sewing needle tool- I got it from Taiwan. I can't find anything alike here. I used it to poke small holes on the patchwork pieces { into batting}. Since the batting is so thick there's no way that the tapestry needles would go in. Once you poke small holes on the position it will allow you to go through the leather holes and patchwork together easy.  The leather shop suggest I use utility knife for cutting leathers { misspelling on top of images}. 

Leather puncher is another expensive tool. I was able to borrow it from friend.  Without it you probably will have trouble to punch holes in your leather.  There are five different sizes in one puncher. It is around 16.00 for this tool.  So, if you can ask around and borrow the tool before you are serious about it.

 Different sizes holes from puncher. It gives you clean holes and able to adjust the gaps between holes.

 It is great for the leather! You can't punch holes in the fabric { I tried, didn't work}.

I used Tapestry Needles to thread the waxed linen thread for the leather handles.  Waxed linen thread is very thick, so be sure you have big needle eye for it.

Waxed linen thread is very sturdy thread! I only used waxed linen thread to hold the handles and patchwork tote together.  It is 5.00 for a small spool.

Magnet snaps are something new for me this time. It is great for closing the top of the bag if you are not sewing with zipper. You can find it in craft store and Joann's. It comes three pairs in one package! It was on sale for 2.99.

I am not able to recommend any leather shop in etsy or online shops for you { sorry}! It is hard to tell which shop carries most fine leather. I did a little research on etsy. The fancy handles are about 15 dollars, but I am not sure if the quality is excellent.  But try your local leather shop if you have one.. I would try to ask them if they have any scraps for sell. Sometimes, it is cheaper and you might score good deals.

To finish the lining with the bag. Here are some links that you can take a look. They are great and easy to follow.

sew.mama. sew
easy tote

edit: here is one of link that I got that carries fine leather.


Random: mini quilt

The mini village quilt was finished this afternoon. It is not perfect in paper piecing part, but turns out cute if you look far away from your monitor!  It is still gloomy and raining here and we resulted it by staying indoor and enjoy our indoor activities! While S had her music lesson this morning. I took this mini quilt with me to work on by the time when she is done with the lesson I am half way through plus some was done from last night. Now I can crossed out another {to do} item from my list. I have a long list that I would like to accomplish during this summer break.

  It look a long time to decided on the binding fabric color then finding the right fabric. Since there are so   many colors in the houses. I wanted some darker color. Dark brown was the one pop out when I was looking through the stash.  I still prefer hand- binding! This is my favorite part of quilting! A good movie and a cup of coffee would do a good job!!

 For the backing, I decided to use my initial - C.  Something new to try and turn out simple and {me}!

Each year, I try to make a mini quilt! Mini quilt is a way of making something fun and generate cool idea into fiber pieces. I love working with embroidery in mini quilts as well! S did the { we love each other} mini quilt two years ago. We had good time share projects together! There's a hope that someday one of the sewing room wall is covered with min quilts!

Finished the patchwork tote tonight, but was too late for photos! It is more zakka style for this tote! S is loving her new bag! She is officially upgrade herself into a BIG girl! Will show and tell tomorrow!! I will also write up a { Take Five: tools and material} to end the patchwork take process!

House pattern can be found:

The mini quilt finished at 14"x14"
Hand-quilted/ hand- binding
The finished sashes were 1" wide.  


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Random: sew too much?

It has been great summer break so far! I can't express myself enough with all the free time on sewing and playing fabric and making new projects. It is very luxury I keep telling myself!! I wish everyday is sewing day!!  We are actually stuck indoor for last 4 days with lots rain and cool weather.  Perhaps that gives me good excuses to sew more! We are both actually tired of the cool weather and wet outdoor. Bike time is out and we are layer in winter clothes again.

These mini pin cushions are 3"x3"!! I made them from scraps fabric. I really like how they turn out! Sending these to my sewing friends soon! These are vintage feedsack fabric that I received from my friend Sylvia a few years ago. I thank her millions for letting me keep these fabric.I treasure each scraps and knew that someday I will put them in good use!

This patchwork zippered pouch is for mom's mother's day gift. It is very late, but I knew she would appreciate the simple style. I used cotton and linen blended fabric that I bought from Joann. I can't tell you the exact name. The print fabric is from Picnic and Fairgrounds by Denyse Schmidt for Joann's.

Do you like paper piecing? I wish I can do it well! I am a beginner! Thanks to Kerry for this wonderful house pattern. I incorporated some fabric that Kerry sent for the swap package. I really enjoy the retro and vintage fabric.

 Pulling fabric out is fun, but sorting them back can be problems! 

 I really like the mini strawberry print. It is super sweet!! 

Sometime, I ask myself why I have so many fabric?? Sometime, I ask myself why I don't have enough fabric. I hope I am not too greedy wanting every fabric that's been release in the market.

I have been making these little houses for awhile now! I have total of 10. I picked out 9 for a mini quilt! I began hand-quilting today, but remember my promise to you on the { Take Four}. These little houses are fun!!

 Trying something new is fun, but mistakes follow up!!

The mini pin cushion is great for my pin board. I store  pins on it! Another two blocks ( on the left) were made today. I am still thinking about a kitchen sink quilt.

I am working on something new... I leave you a little peak, but not much....


Monday, May 28, 2012

Take Four: Assembling

Finally we are coming to the {Take Four: assembling}. Today I have many images to show you, so you probably need to get a cup of tea of coffee. If there's any part that you don't understand, please let me know I will try to explain again. So, I ended up with 9 patchwork pieces. This would give me more options when I play around the assembling. 

Here are my 9 patches. I just realized I have most of them in lighter color schemes only a few were darker. The size of each patch is similar, but some are bigger by 1 or 2 inches. This time the patchwork sizes are smaller than the ones that I had in last few projects.

 I picked out 6 patches for the tote that I am making then play around the layout.

 First trimmed of the batting that's not cover with fabric and give a bit clean look.

Some patches are off, but after the trimming. It will either be squares or rectangles.  It depends on your patchwork pieces looks like.

 After all the trim.... lots pieces are off... I wish to save them all, but maybe not this time...

 Now 6 pieces are trimmed and clean. 

When put them together there were two pieces bigger by one inch. Then trim off the differences. You might not have this problem. As you might recall that I used scrap batting for this project, so the batting size where roughly cut.

 Do you see?  The center piece is bigger than the two pieces next to it.

Trim off the differences. 

After trimming play around the patches again and try to find the good layout for it again. You might not need this step if you only have one or two patches that's large enough for your front/ back pieces.

Top: three patches are ready { This would be front piece of the handbag}
Bottom: three patches are ready { This would be back piece of the handbag}

On to assembling patches together.  Take two patch pieces and put them right side together and use pin to stable patches.

Use 1/4" seam allowance for entire project.  I prefer back stitches on the top and bottom of the assembling. I back stitches about 1/2".  It will help two patches held well together.

 Approach to the end of the patches, do the back stitches as well.

 Look back of the patches. Open the seam.

 Due to the batting, the seam will be heavy. Use iron to open the seam { very lightly press}.

 After ironing.. the seam will be flat

Sew over the open seam { You can use zigzag or straight lights}. It will help to enforce the patches together at the join seams.

Continue  the same assembling join sewing until your patches are assembled.  If you need to adjust the sizes of your front and back piece. It is a good timing to do so! NOW I look at two patchwork pieces as one big fabric pieces instead of patches. 

This patchwork tote is for S, so I trimmed down the sides. It was too wide for her.  I used the trim off side pieces then attached to the bottom part of the patches.

 I saved the other small pieces then patched them together. I am thinking a little coin pouch for myself. No waste!

Note one: After all the assembling and trimming. I have two pieces finished at 11.5"x14.5".  Since I am working with simple tote pattern. I use the most simple bag making method. I put two patchwork pieces right side together. Then pin around the two pieces.  Sew around the tote with 1/4" seam. Leave the top open.

Note two: At this stage. You will be able to design the look of you bag. If you are not working with simple bag pattern. Look at your patchwork pieces as a whole piece of the fabric. That would give you some freedom of playing your bag patterns.

Decided the bottom width of the tote. I used 1" for the bottom width. Draw your width line then sew on the line you drew.

 Trim it off and leave 1/4" seam allowances. Do the same on both side of corners.

 Now you have the outer bag finished.

Lots patches and assembling inside..

If you missed last three takes.. Check them out! 

{Take One}
{Take Two}
{Take Three}