A Quilt, a Bag, and a Cosplay

Despite the lack of posts I have been rather busy with sewing projects this last month. Since none of these are true clothing items, I’m going to lump three smaller projects into one big post!

First up:

A Little Quilt

Orange Yellow Crib Quilt

(a quilt, with bonus Peanut!)

I’ve been cleaning my sewing room and stash busting like crazy lately. Deep in a drawer sat a bag of pre-cut fabric strips which were intended to become a quilt two years ago. Originally I know I had a pattern for the strips but at this point who knows where that pattern is.

Orange Yellow Crib Quilt

I simply sewed the strips together and chopped them up into smaller bits until I had a roughly-crib-size quilt. The back I made by piecing together leftover strips and some other fabric hiding in my quilting cotton drawer. I made bias binding out of scraps.

Orange Yellow Crib Quilt

The only reason I quilted this thing at home myself is because it’s so small and I only did straight lines following the seams. Easy peasy, or as easy as making a quilt can really be.

A Quick Purse

Two-Hour Tulip Purse

I made this bag as a sample for a class I’m teaching at Me & Ewe but I’m surprised how much I like this pattern.

Two-Hour Tulip PurseTwo-Hour Tulip Purse

It’s called the Two-Hour Tulip Bag from Anything But Boring. I made the largest size. It’s interlined with cotton batting but next time I think I want to use some stiffer interfacing and maybe make a firm square removable base, otherwise the bottom doesn’t keep it’s shape when you load up the bag.

Two-Hour Tulip PurseTwo-Hour Tulip Purse

It really is a quick make and it has plenty of pocket options. The bottom of the bag comes together in a neat way to make a point in the center.

Last Minute Cosplay

SXSW is a massive event in Austin that seems to take up the entire month of march. I usually avoid the chaos all over town but I do make the effort to attend the free Game Expo. It’s like a mini game convention in the middle of a much bigger festival/convention/traffic nightmare.

This year, only about a week before the event, I decided to throw together a costume.

Fallout 4 Piper Cosplay

This is Piper, a journalist and wasteland survivor from the post-apacalyptic video game Fallout 4.

piper

My number one requirement for costumes is that I don’t have to wear a wig. Check!

Fallout 4 Piper Cosplay

 

(btw that’s not a real cigarette, just a rolled up piece of paper)

It was seriously last minute. Most of the costume pieces were bought off Amazon prime (yay 2-day free shipping!) and then altered. I attached the faux suede to the collar and cuffs of the coat and quickly sewed some flannel together for the scarf.

This was only my second real cosplay but I’d say it was pretty successful. Not only did a lot of people recognize me but the whole costume was quick and cheap to put together. Win!

***BTW, in case you’ve missed me, I’ve been posting a bunch of other small projects I’ve been working on over on Instagram if you want to follow along.

An Amy Butler Bag and Teaching

8640103881_85707f7417_z
8640103881_85707f7417_z

Some unexpected news for me – I got a job offer to teach a sewing class over at Remnants:fiber[culture], a quilting/fabric store not far away from my house.

My first class will start on June 8th and I’ll be teaching how to sew this monster size tote bag, Amy Butler’s Spice Market Tote pattern.

Spice Market Tote

I’ve never taught a real class before so I’m going to try my best to be prepared. I recently talked about teaching my friend how to sew and what a new experience that was for me. Any advice for teaching a group?

8641207252_dbe6685eac_z

Anyway, as for the bag itself – it’s huge! And I was in for a big surprise when I started working with this pattern. I’ve never used an Amy Butler pattern before so I couldn’t believe when it called for two layers of interfacing on each exterior and interior panel! That’s four layers on each side of the bag!

8641207514_8f64e39387_z

There’s an interior pocket (the pattern calls for two but I only made one) that’s also pretty roomy. The bag even has a cool false bottom that stiffens up the base of the bag but you could take it out if you want to throw the bag in the wash.

***Ok, I also need to mention this: I know I announced that I was going to NYC in May and wanted to meet up with some people. Well, now it looks like that plan is scrapped. No NYC for Dixie. :( Sorry all! I really wanted to meet a bunch of you and I’ve already emailed some to say the bad news. I’m hoping I’ll get another opportunity to go soon but if so I’ll make sure my tickets are already bought before I get too excited. Thanks!

Shopping bags – for the environment!!

8563306800_4ce8af1a4d
Grocery Bags

Austin recently enacted a ban on all disposable plastic shopping bags at grocery and retail stores.

Now, I know that in Europe and other progressively minded places elsewhere in the world this is the norm. You can’t just go buy your granola and yogurt and expect them to give you a bag for free in Prague or wherever. You either gotta buy a bag or carry that crap home on the metro while people give you weird looks (not that that’s happened to me…).

Well, it’s a new thing here, and while I do have some re-usable bags I always forget to bring them in the car/store.

Clutch Grocery Bag

No more available litter box cat poo bags plastic shopping bags are a good excuse to make some fun new bags, amiright!?

I took a class at Stitch Lab to sew these bags which I really think was great for helping to get my sewing mojo back. It was nice being in the company of other sewists and with no home distractions and I could totally focus on my sewing project.

And, randomly, someone there recognized me from my blog. It was pretty awkward ’cause that hasn’t ever really happened and I didn’t know how to respond, really, but it was nice. (Hi Becky!)

I texted Justin about that and his response was to send me the Kristen-Stewart-Lazy-Clapping-at-the-Oscars-gif. Thanks, babe…

Another woman in my class asked for my blog address but after I gave it to her I realized my most recent post had been about undies and felt the need to warn her and explain myself lest she thinks she landed on some strange webpage… more awkward! (“I’m not wearing them, they’re like, on a table…”)

Clutch Grocery Bag

But back to the important bits – I bought both patterned fabrics from Remnants, another store in town (who also finished my quilt).

Clutch Grocery Bag

The class offered two patterns to use: one tote bag style that folds into a cute clutch, and a second bag that is modeled after the classic plastic bag shape so it can fit nicely on the bag holder stands at the self checkout line.

Clutch Grocery Bag

The clutch/tote is very similar to this Heather Bailey design with a couple minor differences (thanks Susan, for finding that one for me!)

Grocery Bag

As for the other bag, I’ve yet to find a pre-made pattern like it but this tutorial is similar. I don’t know if someone at Stitch Lab designed this pattern or if they got it from a book or something. If you know a pattern like this tell me about it so I can put up a link in case others want to make one. ;)

Grocery Bag

The teacher suggested we add a loop of elastic at the center bottom so we can roll up the bags and use the elastic to hold it all together when the bag isn’t being used.

Grocery Bag Roll-Up

Both were pretty quick to make and now they’re going into the back seat of my car. Maybe next time I’ll remember to get them out before I walk into the store…

***On a side note, I also made my necklace! It’s just three wooden beads connected by some wire and strung on a chain, simple but cute!

Burdastyle Sewing Handbook Bag

8080982793_22d3ae3f28_z
8080982793_22d3ae3f28_z

Sorry for being MIA this last week or so. I swear I’ve been sewing a bunch but taking time to take pics is hard. But now I have much to share with you!

8080972518_19319204a3_z

The Goal: This month’s Bibliostyles was a choose your own bag-book. Pick and make a bag from any book and come in and review it. I don’t own any bag-only books but I wanted to make the handbag from the Burdastyle book (that’s another Burdastyle book blouse, too, which I’ll talk about later).

8080974630_595b9e5221_z

The Pattern: The Burdastyle book comes with five basic patterns and each pattern has two variations. I made the second variation, Chie’s Variation, with the bow-tie front. I think the instructions in this book are better than in the magazine or online but you still have to add your own seam allowances, which I think is silly for a bag since it’s not like you’re fitting it. A standard seam allowance for all sides would have been fine. I also didn’t like having to flip back and forth between the variation and the original instructions depending on which step I was on. Maybe that’s being picky but you really have to pay attention to what step you are on.

8080980905_88cc052594_z

Oh and the pattern calls for over two yards of fabric for this bag!?!?! maybe that’s to get the long straps in one piece but I only bought one yard for exterior (and had a lot left over) and 3/4 yd for lining. Lay out your pieces first before you go shopping so you don’t over buy.

8080975346_0403371d52_z

The Fabric: Uh, ok, so I made this bag THE DAY OF the meeting so I was a little rushed for time. I went to Joann and bought this faux suede with metallic bits on it. It’s nice because it doesn’t fray and it doesn’t show needle holes like leather (does real suede show needle holes?).

8080974433_9b293a9cfb

The lining is a poly, one of those faux silk things that chain stores sell (and yet price them like they’re silk, what’s the deal with that!?). Both were on sale, which was a big factor in why I chose them.

8080972517_23d67429c1

The hardware came from my Dallas fabric store trip. I’m so glad I got to use them! The purse feet came from Joann, too. Don’t look to close at the bottom, they’re kind of crooked.

8080966002_6279c69a04

I added some stiff interfacing to the bottom which gives it a nice base but since the rest of the bag isn’t interfaced (except the strap) it still slouches when I set it down.

8080968583_dc4ebe9a66_z

The Changes: Besides the feet and interfaced base I nixed the interior pocket (didn’t have time! and I doubt I’d use it anyway, there are two side pockets). I didn’t make the second attached shoulder strap (I only had hardware for one and I thought another strap was unnecessary). Also, because the bag is so slouchy I noticed that the tie would drag and pull the bag in tighter making the bow droop. I stitched the bow knot down with a couple stitches to the center front of the bag so it would stay up and not pull the sides of the bag tight.

8080978647_cb78501831_z

The Results: I’ve yet to use it with normal purse related items (it’s a big deep bag, easy to loose a lipstick or two inside) but it certainly looks cute! And I got lots of compliments on it. The strap is long enough for shoulder or cross body. I think it will serve as a good winter purse that will go with lots of outfits! I don’t know if I’ll make it again but if I do I’ll try to do the original style with the drawstrings and braided shoulder strap and not interfaced it at all and make it a big, fat, slouchy, boho-style bag.