Sunday, September 30, 2007

Now I've Got It

My friend Molly wanted a change purse, but she wanted it a little larger, about 7"x 5". Something she could put in a larger purse to hold her cards, keys, and change. She had a small zippered bag but was always digging around for the change. I offered to make a little pocket but she thought maybe a divider would work better. Great Idea! I have been wanting the same kind of thing for my big work bag, so the next one is for me. Funny how it works like that sometimes.

The divider is the red and white gingham, it's a little over half the height of the bag. My flickr friend Mindy clued me into splityarn's tutorial for a zippered wristlet that solves the problem of the hand finished lining. I figured there must be one out there somewhere - thanks splityarn!

Molly picked the fabric because it reminds her of our 70s midwestern childhood, which was a very snowy time and place. She even picked the area of the fabric, chosen for the ice skater and the child pulling a sled. The fabric has a half a dozen other scenes that can be pulled out - the little yellow house is one, and another features horses pulling a wagon full or riders. You can see more of my scenic barkcloth here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What Fun!

Mindy, one of my flickr friends, made this adorable change purse using my tutorial. I love that she used a metal zipper, and how adorable is that ticking fabric?

I have become pretty dependent on the support and inspiration I find at flickr. The internet is full of blogs and sites that celebrate snarkiness - I love that the flickr groups that I am a part of are celebrate kindness and a simple desire to share each others lives through our images. When I found "New Vintage Wardrobe" - a group of people who sew clothing from vintage patterns, I thought I had died and gone to heaven! I knew there must have been other people who liked to do that, but to be able to see their creations and share in their success is so much fun! "Aprons In Public" (now called Apron Outfits) inspired me to go out in public like this. Even the fashion celebration of "Wardrobe Remix" has a policy of "say something nice or move on".

Need more kindness in your life? get to flickr and feel the love!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

There Must Be A Better Way...

After my trip to TDO for zippers yesterday I made another change purse (a belated birthday present for my horse-loving sister Sue). I was determined to come up with a simpler way to insert the lining. I applied the 2 lining pieces to the zipper underside BEFORE I applied the 2 purse pieces to the top of the zipper. Then leaving the zipper open I stitched it together and turned it through the hole. It worked fine except that I put my finger through the zipper when I turned the top right corner and had to work it back together and stitch over the corner. What do you think of being able to see the unfinished seams on the bottom and sides? I'm a little fanatical about unfinished seams, but the labor or applying the lining (especially many times over since I plan to sell them) in the traditional hand-sewn manner made me want to find another way. Now of course I am wondering if I should adjust my tutorial, or add another one, I am leaning toward adding another one.

Here you can see the unfinished seams.

Incidentally today is my last day free from employment. I start with a new company tomorrow (doing the same type of job I have done for about 10 years - textbook design). I am looking forward to going back to work - to the routine. I work from 9-3 which is pretty much perfect (having Friday off would be perfect... someday) I will be able to ride my bike to the train until the weather turns, then I will need to walk, which will take about 20 minutes.

I am going out with my girlfriends tonight - a nice way to celebrate the start of something new, and the end of a summer I will never forget.

UPDATE: My feedback from various sources has been pretty much universal distaste over having to see an unfinished seam!! I appreciate the feedback and ultimately tend to agree...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wishing Well Change Purse

Feeling bad after not winning some barkcloth fabric that I really wanted (to make it worse I was bidding for myself and for Claire at Needlebook, we were going to share), I was looking through the scenic fabric in my collection trying to come up with my next project.

When I noticed the well on one of the fabrics I realized what I needed to make. Earlier in the day I ran into a friend who told me that her daughter needed surgery, so I made this change purse for her as a way to say that I was wishing her and her family well.

There are 5 more of these available, so If you are interested in wishing someone well in this way, you can visit my etsy shop.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Connections, Contacts, and Cows

Yesterday I got an inquiry from Julia at the Indiana Beef Cattle Association about one of my farmscene purses (pictured below) and it got me thinking about one of the scraps I had left from my Johnny Appleseed scenic fabric and about the fact that I have been wanting to create a tutorial to show people how easy it is to make a zippered changepurse. Which leads me to my thoughts about how I love the give and take from my various friends and contacts about my sewing business. Amber from Multi-tasking Moms originally requested one of my aprons in exchange for an ad on her blog for a contest she was having (I said yes), and also ended up buying a couple of custom made purses from me (see them below). When she requested a zippered changepurse my first thought was "well I've never done that before, I guess I'll have to learn how!" I don't think I would have done it if she hadn't requested it, and now I love making the changepurses, my daughter Mae has made one and I can see that they are a really nice addition to the purses in my collection - thanks Amber!

Back to Julia at the Beef Council - because she contacted me with a specific interest in cows I remembered the scrap of fabric I had, and I finally shot the pictures for the tutorial I have been meaning to make - thanks Julia!

Let's hear it for connections, contacts, and yes, cows.

Tutorial coming soon!

The farmscene purse that caught Julia's eye.

Amber's purse #1

Amber's purse #2, a gift for her mom who has a honey business.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Emily Likes Her Boots

Emily returned to me via the postal service on Friday. I'm so happy to have her back! She is showing you the boots I made for her while she was gone.

I had to freshen up her face. When I made her I used the transfer that came with the pattern, and added to it with prismacolor pencils. It had worn off considerably so I just redrew it. She is the perfect doll, homemade, soft and pretty - but not so fancy that she needs to just sit on a shelf. She sits on my bedside table next to Raggedy Ann.

This is Emily's favorite quilt. I made this in the b.c. days when I had time to hand piece as well as hand quilt. I really like making doll quilts - they suit my love of making something and moving on to the next thing - boy I love to start new projects!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mae's Favorite Barkcloth: Holly Hobbieland

Sewing in the zipper.

Mae found a favorite barkcloth among the wonderful collection I just purchased on ebay. (You can see my collection of scenic barkcloth here). It looks like the home of Holly Hobbie and I think it must have been produced in the 70s. She made a changepurse yesterday. We have made things together before, and with each project she wants to do more on her own. She cut out the fabric, pinned it, and sewed it on the machine. One of the favorite features of my Viking Husqvarna is the low speed setting. It's great for sewing very thick fabrics, and it's perfect for young sewers because it's slow and steady.

I had to sew in the lining, that has to be done by hand in very small stitches. She is really proud of her changepurse. (me? oh just a little :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Habitrail Home for a Hamster Named Cinnamon

Mae finally got her hamster this week, which she named Cinnamon. After a brief escape from a hand-me-down cage, it was back to the petstore for the habitrail. I never had a hamster, but I always thought those cages were so cool! We also got the "transport unit". They both look like they were designed by Apple - so they fit right in our house. Mae is really excited about Cinnamon. Leo is only a little envious, but really seems to understand that a hamster is for a kid who is almost 10 - and that's more than 2 years away for him. We aren't supposed to handle her for a few more days, they need to get comfortable in their new surroundings first. But Mae has put the exercise ball in the cage, and then closed it up after Cinnamon climbs in - then she's off and rolling around the house!

It's been a really good week. I made a few more purses - this time from the black scenic fabric I have in my stash. A recruiter I met with early in the summer ordered an apron for her cousin's wedding shower, and I found a freelance gig that starts in a couple of weeks. I also got a much needed haircut, and I figured out how to do a bunch of things that are making my business (and my life) go so much more smoothly - hurray for progress! (I'd tell you what they are, but then you'd know what a bubble head I can be!)

This purse and a few others are in my etsy shop.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Boots for Emily

I always wanted to make boots for my doll Emily, and now that I know she is safe (she was briefly lost) and on her way home, I decided it was finally time to make them. Instead of felt I used the same velvet that I used for this hat so I had to line them. I can't wait to give them to her when she gets home!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A Fruitful Labor Day Weekend!

St. Blaize's changepurse

Country Cottage

What a nice weekend! The weather was perfect, we got in our 40th trip to the pool, Leo went to the Lake, Mae went to the Renaissance Fair in Bristol, and I finished 3 purses! I just posted them in my etsy shop. Late last week I made 3 changepurses - 2 were made to order for my new friend Amber, and one was made for St. Blaize - one of my favorite flickr folks. Now the kids are back to school - all is well!

UPDATE: 2 of these purses went almost immediately - which leads me to the problem of working with small amounts of vintage fabric: there is a very limited number of items to make in a given design - then I have to move on to a different fabric and a different look. On the other hand this suits me well because I don't like making the same thing over and over again... an interesting dilemma...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Homestead Messenger Bag

Homestead Bag - Today's Project, originally uploaded by Viteen.

Well here is the first of the remaining 3 bags I can make from the cloth I previously posted. Pretty happy with the way this one came out, the outer pocket sits nice and flat though it has no closure. I put the label on one of the inside pockets made from a feedsack print - the last of it! I just posted it in my etsy shop.