16 November 2016

Zipper tabs

This really is meant more as a reminder for myself than anything else. There are so many tutorials out there and all of them are good in their way.
I was making more bags like the ones in my last post, still trying to reduce the contents of the scrap basket, just playing around, trying different ways of sewing zipper tabs to see what I liked best and happened to have the phone nearby. So, I took pictures of the process.
I cut a piece of fabric 2" x 3.5" and ironed the short ends under 1/4" inch (and later changed my mind about the second end).
Next, I ironed under the long ends, measuring the width against the width of the zipper.
I then slipped the zipper inside those ironed under long ends and sewed across just the short side.

This is where I changed my mind (about the two short ends being ironed down first): I unfolded the short end, folded the long sides in, then folded the short end over.

After that, I folded the whole tab in half, making sure that the end in back was slightly longer than the end in front.

I then sewed all the way around, sewing again over the short end I sewed originally.
 No, it wasn't always perfect, I actually undid one of the tabs, but, if I had paid a little more attention and adjusted things as I was sewing, it might have been just fine.
The picture above is the first tab I worked on, the one I took pictures of as I sewed.
And here is the other one I did. That one actually turned out better.
Hopefully, the next time I sew a bag that requires zipper tabs, I will remember to refer back to this, so much easier than experimenting again and again.

07 November 2016

Bags ............. and more bags

I was sure the (sewing) muse had left me for good, but inspired by a recent post on this blog I dug out fabric, zippers etc. and started sewing again.

I used the following tutorials and came to realize that I like a combination of the two best. So, in future, that's what I will do. There are things I could have done better and that's what I mean with combining the two tutes.
Next was this bag, made from a tutorial on an Italian blog. Google translate and a metric ruler were very helpful here.
The pouch is cute, but very floppy, definitely would have benefited from either interfacing or quilt batting.
The mini version of the  Sew Together Bag was made quite a while ago but never photographed or blogged. There are several more in the pipeline, just as soon as I can work up the enthusiasm for them.

And this was was whipped up yesterday afternoon before dinner. I used this tutorial but changed things a bit.
Quick and easy and fun.
I had hoped I would make a dent in my fabric stash, or, at least, in my scrap bucket, but no such luck. I guess I will have to keep on sewing. Let's hope the muse stays around for a while.

29 September 2016

More Indigo Dyeing

I am a bad blogger. Really, I am. There is lots of stuff going on around here, some of it actually crafty, but do I bother to document it? No, I do not.
But, I finally did something I am quite excited about.  I took another indigo dyeing class, this time in central Oregon. Two days, lots of supplies, fun and so enjoyable.
Carlene Keller from Hawai'i taught the class and set up the dye pots and I wish I had paid a bit more attention to how she did it. But, there are instructions on the web and I should be able to figure it out on my own.
Class was fairly structured so we all did similar projects. The first day was about using thread as a resist and I only ended up with two finished pieces, but on the second day, we really dug in and churned out quite a bit more:
It took me a whole week after we came back to finally wash my pieces of fabric - we did have a bit of a heatwave and several "spare the air" days in a row, so that was my excuse. Plus I had to wash by hand since I have one of those "efficient" washers and I was supposed to use quite a bit of water for washing. I lumped all the cotton pieces together in the above picture and will need to take a few individual pictures to explain how I did the various techniques.
The above is the silk scarf we all did. Quite happy with how it turned out. Actually, I am very happy with how everything turned out. The color is a lot deeper this time around than in the first class I took. I have no idea why that is. Maybe the dye bath was stronger. We still did things basically the same way as in the first class, dip, wait for the color to change, repeat and repeat again. Fun, if a little messy.
Here are my gloves after two classes:
And here are the little indigo plants I planted several weeks ago, bad timing, I think. It's a little late in the season, even here where we have a long growing season:
Today, I am trying ice dyeing and, wouldn't you know, I forgot to take pictures at the beginning? Typical!

20 June 2016

Shibori and indigo

I took a class yesterday, in Oakland, at A Verb for Keeping Warm. Lots of fun, a bit messy, but I have something to show for - unlike the class I took a month ago. And that project is almost finished, the handwork, anyway. But that's for another post, hopefully soon.
Anyway, back to yesterday's class - shibori and indigo dyeing. I keep seeing examples of other people's dyework and just loved it. I've taken a dyeing class before, but it wasn't about natural dyes. So, when I got the email about this class, I signed up immediately. Glad I did. Here is what I managed to do in class:
 My first piece, pretty time consuming and requiring the use of many, many needles. All stitched and gathered along the way. The fabric is beige linen. Took me ages to get all the threads out and even longer to carefully cut out the knots at the end of each row of stitches.
 After that first piece, I wanted something a little easier and just tied little bits of fabric to get sort of dots. I think this one is my favorite. This one started out as plain, white cotton fabric.
 This one was another simple tying process. I just pleated the fabric and tied it at intervals. It worked. Same fabric as above.
I call this one my "quick and dirty" piece. I had extra fabric, there was time, so I tied and dipped. I think this piece was only dipped twice, the others 3 or 4 times.
I ended up with bluish nails and managed to drip a bit of blue water on my feet. Well worth it. I ordered indigo plant seeds today, I'll try growing my own, for a slightly different process. Let's see how that goes.

Baby sewing - again

With a visit to Oregon coming up soon, there's been some serious sewing going on lately: bibs, a cape and another one of the fleece bears my granddaughter seems to be collecting:


My favorite project were the bandana bibs, quick and easy to sew and great to use up fabric left over from sewing little baby pants.
After making a couple of other "superkid" capes recently and realizing that the unlined fleece was not going to stand up to a lot of taking off and putting back on, I lined this one, ladybugs according to the "superkid's" mom's request. The bear goes with the cape. And one of these days I'll make them in matching pairs, so the little brother will get his own. Right now, his sister owns them all and, according to her, she does not share.
Details: bears are a Rebecca Danger pattern.
Cape pattern can be found here, applique here
The bandana bib pattern is here, the other bib is a pattern by Jennifer Casa  that doesn't seem to be available right now.
The little crinkly squares are leftovers from my doll club sewing days, I just winged it on those, leftover flannel and ribbon with crinkly, washable plastic in the center.

15 June 2016

A very Faux Dori

Ever since I started bullet journaling, pinterest has been busy suggesting other things for me to look at; yesterday they got my interest: a small leather-bound notebook. While reading the blog post that went with the link, I came across another post about faux doris. I have heard about Midori travel journals before and I like the idea of interchangeable inserts and everything held together with a stretchy rubber band. But, for starters, I wanted to try making something similar myself.
And after a bit of searching I found a tutorial that had just what I wanted: a fabric cover, using Pellon, Wonder Under, eyelets etc. etc.
I am big on re-using, recycling, list making and this really appealed to me. Out came the scrap papers, the scrapbooking papers, the pokey tool and everything I needed to make inserts. By yesterday evening, I had finished two inserts. I made three more this morning and then tackled the cover: questionable denim on the outside, a pretty print for the inside. I rounded the corners and worked on the eyelets. I have done eyelets before, quite a few of them, but always in metal. Metal is easy compared to fabric, really. But I got it to work and only wasted one eyelet and here is the result:
Pictures aren't great, should have used a different background.

Outside - denim.
Two inserts, could hold more.
The spine showing 3 of the 5 eyelets.

The inside fabric with the elastic that holds the inserts.

Outside held closed with the elastic.

One notebook inserted, the other not yet.
I may possibly made a leather cover for a "not quite so recycled" dori, this one is just for the car, to hold paper to take notes. We have a really neat leather store in town and they have scraps, there might just be something that would work nicely.

20 May 2016

Give me an "A" ...........

................ and a whole bunch of other letters.
This particular project has been on my pinterest board for a long, long time. I am hoping the 3-year-old granddaughter is old enough for this by now.


I had fun trying to find fabrics to match the letters - H for house, L for ladybug, M for monkey, C for cat and S for socks.
And even more fun spelling out names and words.

 Art it isn't, but it sure is fun.

I found the tutorial with a link to the letters here. I did not completely follow the directions, but sewed inside the drawn line after trying it the other way. All the fabrics came out of my scrap basket with one or two from my obscenely large stash. The only thing that got a little smaller was the piece of batting I used; the stash - really not at all.
I am almost reluctant to part with these letters, too much fun to play with them and I can imagine these used in banners or applique, not just as a tool for a child to learn his or her letters.