Sunday, March 29, 2015

I Digress, and I diet, too

I finished the Margo Handbag, but my parents came to visit soon after.

Most of what I have accomplished in that time frame is commonly known as cleaning.

While they were here, I lengthened a PJ top I had made for my Dad several years ago:

Here we are at beautiful Ormond by the Sea:

Here's a picture with my hubby:

You can see that hubby and I have big bellies, and that's not healthy. I have an idea that I won't be old until I'm at least 90 - but not int this shape!

My Mom lost 16 pounds or so last year, and she told me that she used "the Fast Metabolism Diet" by Haylie Pomroy.

The book explains how your metabolism works and what you can do to reset it.  The explanations made sense to us so my husband and I decided to try it.

The diet helps heal your metabolism by being nutritious, yet planned in such a way to shock your system, but not you.  OK, maybe your wallet.  Eating well costs real money.

We started this diet one week after my parents left. Feeding them helped us get ready because we had not previously been eating enough vegetables.

It's working so well that we are continuing on with it.  Here's what happened in four weeks:

I lost 12 pounds.

My husband lost 25 pounds, his blood sugar went from 260 to 110, and his blood pressure went down drastically.

I also found a good book called "Fast Metabolism Diet Recipes" by Helen Harriss.  There's a really good chart in this book which I pinned and taped to the fridge as a meal plan reference.

The main thing I like about this diet is that it does not include calorie counting and portion control.

The closest to a contrary argument about this diet might sound like a complaint to some of you: I have never eaten so much food in my life!

Yes, we have to exercise, but not overly so.  We also have to do relaxing activities on the weekends, which  is usually going to the beach and walking in the surf.  Yeah, throw me in that briar patch!  It's a tough, life, but somebody's gotta do it.

I will post pictures of some of the meals we've been making for this diet. Some are found, and some are adapted.

I promise myself that I will get back into sewing.

I promise my readers that I will post the final step of my Margo Handbag.

Yes.

I will.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Margo Handbag - Step 10

Step 10 is to install the zipper.

previously mentioned marking the zipper fold line on the wrong side of the lining assembly:

I used that line to fold the top town towards the right side of the lining assembly, pinned in place, and stem pressed this fold:

I noticed - and checked - that the pocket is not exactly parallel to the top and bottom edges of the lining piece.  Too late to change it now.  Important to me is that there is enough clearance for the lower corner seams.  Besides, the lining will be hidden inside the purse, so who's going to know, right?

For each side of the zipper, I fit the zipper into the fold as instructed ...

... then I pinned the fold tightly over the zipper, pinned it in place, and stitched as directed:


After another fold and press, I topstitched along the zipper on each piece:

Step 11 is to attach the lining to the top of the bag - and maybe more!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Margo Handbag - Step 9

Step Nine is to work on the lining assembly.

According to the instructions, I steam pressed the fusible woven interfacing to the lining pieces. I turned the fused pieces over and steamed them again.  Steam pressing from both sides strengthens the fusion.

Also per the instructions, I cut these down to the final size.  I am not the only person who questions this step.  If there's a reason these were not originally cut to the final size, I don't know what it is. But, hey, I followed the instructions!

On the interfacing side of each lining piece, I marked the zipper fold line:

I cut two-inch squares from the lower corners:

I folded the pocket pieces in half lengthwise, right sides together, and pinned the cut edges together:

I stitched along the long cut edges, and steam pressed the seams:


I turned the pocket pieces right side out, preparing to enclose the seam allowances in the hem.  This picture shows the gist of it:

To press this hem, I started by centering the seam, keeping the seam allowance towards the looping, like this:


I then placed this seam near the edge of the ironing board:

This allowed me to steam press the seam open with the seam allowance to one side, as viewed from the other end of the piece:

After they cooled, I rolled the pocket pieces back into position, with the seam allowance enclosed by just enough fabric wrapped around them:

After pressing the pocket pieces flat, I used an edgestitch foot to guide my stitching along the hem:

Here's one pocket piece folded over to show both sides:

I placed the pocket pieces on the lining pieces, and pinned in place:

Once again, I used the edgestitch foot, this time to guide my stitching along the bottoms of the pockets:

To start off the pocket dividers, I used a quilting ruler and pink fine-point marker to mark the stitching lines two inches in from the ends of the pockets:

I pinned inside the stitching line:

After stitching the end dividers, I played and fiddled with the exact pocket divider sizes.  Here you can see the stitching from the reverse side of the front lining piece. The front pockets will hold pens and other narrow and mid-sized items:

Here is the stitching on the reverse side of the back lining piece.  The back pockets will hold larger items:

Step 10 is to install the zipper.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Wonder Wallet

I recently made a Runaround Bag as a gift for a coworker.  Here's the link to that project.

That fabric was from my stash.  I had some of that fabric left over, so I cut the rest to make some Wonder Wallets.  Here's the link to the Lazy Girl Wonder Wallet pattern.

This is an easy project that makes quick gifts.

Here's a picture of my cutting process:

I started by cutting and folding the pieces in sets, according to fabric:

I folded the main (body) pieces and pinned them to be stitched about half-way down each side to form a flap.

Tip:
I placed one pin on each side to show where I would start stitching:

The stitching ended at the flap.  For the first three wallets, I traced something round to form a curve.  For later wallets, I did not make curved flaps, which made the process go quicker.

I turned and pressed the body pieces:

I stitched the folded hems of all the pockets.

Tip:
I used a method called "chain piecing" for most of my stitching.  This means that I "chained" my work together by sewing one or two stitches between fabric pieces:


I cut apart the chained pieces, steam pressed the parts, and mixed up the patterns for a unique look:

I attached a piece of velcro to each lower pocket piece:

Tip:
For a quick fix, I daubed a dot of white glue on the Velcro piece, finger-pressed it onto the pocket, and let it dry.  After they dried, I stitched around the Velcro pieces:

Tip:
There are many layers to this wallet, so I held them together with quilt binding clips:

After I stitched the pocket layers together, I trimmed the seams and corners:

I also finished the cut edges with zigzag stitching. This is also where I remembered to topstitch the flaps:

I turned them right side out and attached the opposite Velcro pieces to the flaps:

Tip:
On the later wallets, I topstitched the flaps much earlier in the process, chaining the pieces:

Tip:
I used the quilt binding clips again to hold down the steam-pressed coin slot flaps until they cooled and set:

I ran out of fabric, so I had to change a couple names from non-coworkers to coworkers, and even then, not everybody got one.

Most everyone seemed to really like their Wonder Wallets. One friend put lots of cards in hers while we were talking!  That made my day!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Runaround Bag v2

I made a Runaround Bag for myself this past summer.  Here's the link to the Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern.

We recently had a party at work with a gift exchange.  I knew I wanted to make a gift this year, and I decided on a Runaround Bag.  I found that I had some fabric, but I did have to buy a zipper for this project.

We drew names, and finding who my gift recipient would be confirmed that my stash fabrics would be perfect.

Instead of sewing one row of stitching down the center of the straps, as instructed, I edgestitched both sides of the straps.

When it came to applying fusible batting to the lining piece, I did follow the instructions this time!

I did mention in my previous post about this bag that I did not sew the final seam in one fell swoop, as instructed.

Here's a picture of how I did this:  I stitched up the left side, across the top, then down almost to the zipper.  I also stitched up the right side about half way.  This allowed me to leave the handles laying out straight so they wouldn't be in the way of my stitching:

After that (not shown), I opened the zipper from the inside, and pulled the strap out through the zipper opening.  then I finished stitching the right side and the bottom.

Tip:
Here's how I restitch corners, slightly to the inside of the original seams, before clipping the corners

Back to our regular program:
Here are three pictures of the final project:





The recipient likes it, and several people guessed that I was her "secret santa."