I think I decided that this little kimono is going to be baby sister’s coming home outfit. I finally got around to making Habitual’s kimono tutorial. I think you can still get the tutorial, but you have to email her. The pattern is really easy. I made it 2 inches longer to make it more of a dress that she will wear over a onesie. I just had a hard time deciding on fabric and I wanted to make my own bias tape but I couldn’t find any coordinating fabrics in my stash late last night. And in my indecisiveness, I forgot that I had put a batch of cookies in the oven. I’m not sure how long they over-baked, but they were just a touch shy of charcoal. Oh well, I blame it on pregnancy brain.
I did the kimono because I kind of gave up on the ruffled bag for now. It’s most of the way done; I just need to finish the quilting on the top piece and figure out what the straps are going to look like. But, the quilting has been giving me fits and the bag turned out too big for a purse and too small for a diaper bag. So, maybe another attempt someday. I was proud of my interior zipper I put in the lining, based on this tutorial, but oh well.
This is for Sew Mama Sew’s favorite sewing tip list. I do a lot of clothing sewing so I usually prewash every piece of fabric I buy. I hate washing it and losing a few inches worth of fabric to shredding on the ends. Especially the higher-end quilting cottons; they seem to shred the worst. What I do now is serge both raw edges when I get the fabric home and voila, no more shredding. Then I can pull the fabric from the dryer and fold it up neatly without trimming all the little thread balls off the edges. Much easier. Without a serger, a zig-zag stitch or overedge stitch would also work.
I’m in the middle of making up my own version of this bag. Usually I go on a rant about how most Vera Bradley stuff is so old lady looking and so stinkin’ expensive and I have no idea why it is so popular, especially with dancers. But I got a flyer in the mail with the Cha Cha bag on it and thought it was actually kind of cute. But not $58 worth of cute. That and the bag itself is pretty small. So I set to making it myself. I found some cute fabric at Joann, drew up the dimensions and started sewing. It’s about halfway done. I’ve got all the ruffles attached and the thing is heavy. Not so good. But, if I can figure out a good way to interface the outer layer it might work out. I also want to put in an interior zipper pocket and a cell phone pocket. Size-wise, it’s going to be about the same size as the dance bags I’ve been making. I just need to find some faux-leather straps and I think the look will be complete. I definitely know why I buy patterns instead of drafting my own. I’m not much for knowing how things go together. But, everything is a learning experience. I do know that now that I’ve sort of figured out my ruffler, I love it. There is no way I’d do all those ruffles by hand.
I made a dance bag for a friend’s daughter like the one I made for Allison. The next one I make, I will have to come up with a better way to get the pockets to go around the corners better. Maybe a pleat on the bottom of each one. I borrowed a friend’s embroidery machine to do the name and since she is looking to sell it, I might even buy it from her. Not that I have anywhere near the room for another machine but it would be nice to have.
The bag came together a little easier this time, since I had made one before. Next time I make one, I might even get the gumption to take pictures and post a tutorial. I enjoy doing custom work for people, especially since lately Allison doesn’t want to wear most of the stuff I make for her. Oh well, the next baby will be a captive audience for the next few years.
In other news, the Redding Handmade Etsy Team had a mini show at Sweet Spot and I sold a few of my baby items to friends. It was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to more events in the future. You can search on Etsy for our local artists by entering our team tag of rhteam.
I wanted to try out a retro Simplicity pattern to see if I would like it as a blessing dress for the new baby (although that would mean actually deciding on a name sometime before July). And after seeing one made on A Feathered Nest’s blog (on my sidebar) I went for it with one of my coveted Heather Bailey Freshcut prints. I have such a hard time cutting into my stash of designer fabrics, but I can’t buy more if I don’t use what I have, blah, blah, blah. It’s not the best picture since the quilt I used as a background is too busy, but I did like how it turned out. Not quite what I had in mind for a blessing dress, but still cute. It has pleats on the front and I think I want pintucks instead. So, I’ll keep looking around and maybe try to modify this pattern before I use the Swiss batiste I bought. BTW, my mom made the quilt in the background for my birthday using 30’s prints that I love.
My daughter had a birthday party to go to, so I made a Doodle Purse based on this tutorial at MaKC Creations for a birthday present. I had bought a pad of paper and Pipsqueak markers at Target to go in it and sort of modified some of the dimensions. The individual pockets for the markers didn’t work out, so after three tries and a lot of seam ripping, I decided to make one big, pleated pocket to hold them. The pleats keep the outside lying flatter and I closed the pocket with two pieces of velcro. I really wanted the individual pockets for each marker but I think this works out better because now the birthday girl can put whatever markers, crayons or pens she wants in there.
I used a button and a hair elastic to keep it closed.
After way more time than it should have taken, I think it turned out pretty cute. Next time I might have the marker pocket opening on the end closer to the pockets so when the purse is closed, the pocket opening is upright, instead of upside down. I like going for more useful presents for birthdays since I never know what to get for A’s preschool friends.