Felted bag

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I’ve been wanting to make one of these for ages and have been keeping my eye out for a suitable woolen jumper. It needed to be pure wool labeled hand wash only in order to felt nicely.  I finally picked up the perfect one at Goodwill for a few dollars.

First I put the jumper through a soapy hot wash in the washing machine. Then I tumble dried it. It came out nicely felted.

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FB_IMG_1491394969269I found some nice scraps that match well for the pocket and zip linings and lined the body of the bag with some leftover grey corduroy. I always think a strap looks more professional if it has at least a bit of metal hardware on it somewhere and I had the perfect piece in my drawers.  The strap’s a bit stretchy but otherwise I love it, especially all the pockets!

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Subtle Star Wars geekery

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20170111_194745Happy New Year! I can’t seem to move on from #9 on my holiday to-do list. So whaddya know, I made another bag. In truth, I have sewn some other stuff but I’m stuck in my holiday casual gear and really can’t be bothered photographing it yet.  Plus I should have been finished with the silk dress but it was a disaster – not sewing wise, that was fine, but the dress was so utterly unflattering the 17yo fashionista fell about laughing when I put it on. I think I’ll cut it up and do something else with it eventually.

But the bag… I picked up some beautiful wool suiting fabric at The Salvos for $6. I  don’t wear suits, my work office is not that formal, but I had an idea for a bag.  It was the week Carrie Fisher died so it seemed a fitting tribute to pair the conservative wool, with some lairy Star Wars fabric as the piping and lining. When my big girls were little I used to do a lot of smocked dresses, which would have mini piping along the collars and bodice, and I enjoyed doing a bit of piping again, it gives such a lovely finish. Ferreting around and using what you’ve got on hand is a bit of a motto around here, although I think it’s really code for ‘too impatient to wait’, so the back piping has a bit of string off a parcel down the middle of it, and the front piping has a bit of red twine I found in my partner-in-crime’s modelling room.

The previous bag I made is a big hit and just proved it’s usefulness on a weekend  trip to Sydney. However the one thing it doesn’t have is a proper phone pocket so I’ve remedied that this time. It’s really annoying not having somewhere in a larger bag to easily access my phone and I’ve been using the zip pocket in the other bag, which means I can’t keep it zipped up with important stuff like lipstick and train tickets! This bag has three zipped pockets and a phone pouch. Not sure why but I really love doing these little zip pockets on bags. I do them by sewing a long skinny rectangle with the outside and pocket lining fabrics right sides together, cutting up the middle of the rectangle, sniping into the corners, and turning the lining through to the inside. Then I just sew the zip into the already lined space.  They’re so neat and nifty and I’m using up some of the heaps of zips I’ve thrifted. The one thing I haven’t got right yet is the interfacing. I bought some super heavy interfacing for this bag, but when I went to use it I realised it was going to be too heavy, so since I was sewing in the middle of the night as usual and not about to wait for the next day to get more interfacing, I just used the light stuff I had on hand. It’s fine, and means it’s nice and light to carry, but the bag is floppier than a similar store bought one would probably be. The strap is off a bag of Laura’s which she was gifted and didn’t like. I feel like a bit of a fraud using ready-made straps on my bags but they do give them a professional look.

And just because, here’s a naughty cat who tipped over Laura’s paint water earlier and was discovered wearing the green paint evidence on his paw! Lucky he’s cute and we love him

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Last make of 2016!

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Another #9 – I made a bag! I decided to make it last night on the spur of the moment in my post Breaking Bad finale what-on-earth-do-I-watch-now slump, so I didn’t have a pattern, I just winged it.  It was meant to be quite a bit smaller but somehow turned into a messenger bag. There wasn’t any heavy interfacing in the house so I had to use a light weight one. It’s consequently probably a bit floppier than ideal but it’s fine.

The fabric is Cotton Linen Canvas from Spoonflower. I was going to make a skirt from it but it looks good as a bag. It’s lined with silk dupion left over from my Steampunk Pirate Waistcoat in a cool orangey brown which matches nicely. The silk is strong, but frays like you wouldn’t believe, so I’ve interfaced every piece, plus all the seams are hidden – hopefully it will hold ok. I only had just enough for the flap lining which was the last piece I cut out so it’s pieced, but actually looks cool.

I kind of made it up as I went.  I added a zip pocket on the front, and another inside. Also a big pocket on the inside which sort of divides the bag. I had some leather sitting around which was just right for attaching the buckles (buckles which I picked up a while ago in a bag for $1). The one thing I haven’t sorted is the strap.  I checked out a few op shops today looking for an old bag or belt I can source a strap from, but no luck, so I’ve temporarily used one off my day to day handbag.  I’ll keep looking, I’m sure the perfect strap is out there waiting!

Is that Octopusses or Octopi?

Liam kept saying Octopusses, and I kept telling him it’s Octopi, but it doesn’t look quite right written down! Anyway, there is only one Octopus on his new PJs, which are made from some lovely batik I’ve had lying around for ages – I always loved it but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Liam helped design the 8 legged creature.
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This is not my own sewing but she looks so lovely I can’t leave her out – tonight was Laura’s dance concert so here she is in one of her 3 gorgeous costumes. All the costumes are beautifully made by the mother of the dance teacher, and by my count there would be over 1000 costumes!!
And here is the toiletries bag I made this afternoon. It is a present, but I decided since I wont say who it’s for that I will post a picture of it anyway. It’s a Laura Ashley print, with an overlay of clear plastic. I would love to have a go at one of these with piping ‘like the bought ones’ but I fear that would be mighty fiddly, hmmmm.