Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chidori and Japanese print dopkit sized bags

I made a lot of bags and pouches this year!

Hedgehog n Honeybee pouches

I hope the recipients enjoy!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas purse

I can unveil this one because my friend, Char, couldn't wait until Christmas to open her gift. (!)

I got the pattern from Pochee Sewing magazine:

Someday I want to make that dress on the cover too.

Here is the magazine's version of the purse:

And here is my version:

The lining:

Made from Japanese cotton and Japanese "Bark" fabric (a nice heavyweight fabric with a lot of body). I finished the purse off with a sakura pearl button and fixed a loop to go over that for a closure.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Birthday Pillow & Pouch

My friend recently got a dark brown leather loveseat couch. When I saw it, I knew what she needed, a couple of accent cushions that could double as pillows for when she wants to take a nap.

Made with Japanese cotton/linen in a bee print.

I also made a handkerchief out of Japanese cotton fabric that is soft and hopefully absorbent. I embroidered it with the word, "snot." I packed it in a pouch that I made from a kit from Blissful that I got at the You Bazaar craft fair. The green zipper pull and bias tape trim were added by me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Amy Butler Birdie Cat Pattern

from her book, "Little Stitches for Little Ones"

It is made from corduroy, and has nothing that can come off. I oped to not put the contrasting feet on it. It is another part of the present for the gal that is getting the baby booties. Since a lot of people may be having babies in the next couple of years, I can get a lot of use from this book making gifts.

Martha Stewart Lamb from the 08 Holiday Issue

Thanks, Dixon, for the pattern!

I want to enlarge this a little more than the 200% that the magazine suggests. It is a little hard to sew and get it turned out at it's current size, and I think maybe 250% or even 300% would be a good size. It's a pretty slim lamb too. I might redraw the neck and chest to give it a tad more girth. I made this from a Gap wool skirt that I got at a yard sale for only $1.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Crazy about pouches

Several more zippered pouches have come off of the assembly line:

The flowered pouch has a grey nubuck lining. The green dotted pouch is made from laminated cotton and the lining is Michael Miller Dumb dots in brown and green. This would be great for cosmetics or travel!

Next we have the tall standing pouch made from Japanese cotton, chidori print:

Look at the cheery red dotted lining:

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wedding Shower Gift

Another coworker is getting married this coming Saturday. Here, at the office, we put together a nice little lunch time tea party with tea sandwiches. I used the spool sewing bird softy pattern, but shrank it for this project. I made two birds in light purple (the bride-to-be's favorite color) silk. One is slightly larger than the other and they are ornaments for the bride and groom's first Christmas together.

Bitty Booties

Here are the bitty booties made with the pattern from Heather Bailey:

They are for a coworker who is going to have a baby girl.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Almost Pollini Dress - officially a bust.

I don't think I am going to make any more free Burda Style patterns. They always turn out too wide in the shoulders and back and I don't have enough patience to alter them. I prefer the japanese patterns. All I have to do on those is an fba and I'm good to go. Way easier, imo.

I picked up a few new Japanese pattern books recently:

I got this book on hats.

This book has a lot of nice dress patterns. The patterns are designed especially for kimono fabric which is only about 14" wide. I am kind of reluctant to cut up my kimono, but I won't use them otherwise.

For my birthday, my friend gave me Zakka Sewing. The three reviews on Amazon are not helpful. The book is a delight to look at, but in my opinion, not accessible for a beginner.

First off, you get this book, and unless you improvise, you really can't make anything from it right away. Why? Every pattern requires that it be enlarged 200-250% (depends on the pattern). Furthermore, there are no tips on enlarging the patterns. If you photocopy them, you need paper larger than 8.5x14. I was eager to make the squirrel teapot cozy on the cover, and I had to free hand most of the pattern using my french curve in order to get immediate gratification.

Next, the materials list for the teapot cozy says, "thick wool felt." Well, I used thick wool felt and after completeing the pattern as the book instructs, my cozy is floppy and won't stand up, nevermind that it doesn't fit on my teapot. I will need to improvise, use interfacing, and I think I will even add batting to insulate. That's all okay, but c'mon, for the hard earned $24.95 that my friend spent, I expect a little more! If the purpose of this book is to make Japanese style patterns more accessible to those who do not read Japanese, why do I feel like I get so much more from the Japanese craft mooks that give me full size patterns and excellent drawn instructions (though, admittedly I can read enough Japanese to help me along) for the same price?

And just because we need a pic:
My kayak at Courtright Reservoir last summer.

More craft items coming soon!

I can't show many of the things I have been working on, since a lot of the items are Christmas presents.