Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bendy Bag and Other Sewing

A few weeks ago, I bought the new Bendy Bag pattern by Lazy Girl Designs - link here.  I am often distracted by my Kindle, so I did not start on it right away.

I admit that at first I was not able to wrap my head around making this small bag without basting and pinning everything together.

I have Wonder Clips that are used in this pattern's instructions.  So far, I had only used them to hold down the flowers on my shoes after a day's wearing.

Once I accepted the use of Wonder Clips instead of basting and pins, the bag went together quickly:

Oddly enough, I have no idea what I will put in it.

I also made a Wonder Wallet, another pattern by Lazy Girl Designs - link here.  This time it was for me!

Also, by special request, I made two more cases for my husband's sunglass collection. He selected the striped fabric for his yellow sunglasses, and the green fabric for his green sunglasses:

These little projects have given me a sense of accomplishment.  Yay!  I got something done!

My next venture is to find a copy shop that will print wide PDF patterns.  I want to make some clothes, and I will be trying a pattern line that I've never used before.  This venture will have to wait until at least Thursday since Monday and Wednesday evenings are when we go to the gym, and Tuesday is a voting day.  It looks like we will be visiting a certain print shop on Thursday evening.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Margo Handbag - Step 11

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

Well, yeah.  This post shows the finishing steps of my Margo Handbag by Lazy Girl Designs - here.

After attaching the zipper and finishing with topstitching, I laid out the pieces for the next step. The front and back purse body pieces are near me, and the lining pieces are beyond:

I flipped the purse body pieces away from me, aligning the top edges with the lining pieces:

I stitched the top edges together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance:

I opened up the seams, and pressed the seam allowances towards the facing pieces:

Then I topstitched those seams on the lining side:

For the next steps, I had to close the zipper until the zipper pull was near the handles:

I pinned the bottom of the body together, and stitched it:

I pinned that seam open from the right side, and steam pressed it using a scrap of cotton fabric as a pressing cloth 

Where the zipper hung out one side, I pinned the side of the purse together, matching meeting seams. I pinned the zipper over onto itself, before stitching that seam. After that, I cut off most of the excess zipper:

Where the zipper did not hang out, I matched the seams, pinned, and stitched that side:

I pressed all the seams open, and left them to cool with weight on top:

Sometimes I had to fold the purse like origami to get the pressing done, especially when I had a sleeve board inside:

More origami work was required to line up the bottom corners before I stitched them down:

I stitched the ends of the lining seam, leaving an opening for turning:

I carefully pressed this seam open, first one side, then the other:

I  pressed the ends of that seam flat before I matched and stitched the corners:

I turned the purse right side out, opened the zipper, and took out all the basting stitches holding the handles straight:

I matched the edges of the bottom lining seam and stiched it closed using and edge-stitch foot:

After stuffing the lining into the purse, I stitched around the top edge of the purse from the inside to hold the lining to the inside:

Here's a close-up shot of the purse:

But wait, there's more!

There's a purse bottom insert that's designed to fit inside this purse - link here:

I cut two pieces of fabric to a certain size, and pressed one end of each into a hem. Then I pinned them right sides together and stitched the remaining edges:

I turned this right side out, inserted the plastic piece, and stitched the end shut:

I placed this inside the purse to help hold the rectangular shape of the bottom:

Here's the inside of the filled purse, including my Kindle:

There are four outside pockets, and each is a home for stuff like keys, phone, and work badge:


I have more projects in the works, and when I'm done, I will certainly share.

I started this bag on October 29, 2014, and finished it on February 1, 2015.  It's about time!

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.


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.