… and I just need to sew it! Argh!
Yesterday, Sara at Sew Sweetness released her new bag pattern, the Dot Dot Dash Bag. Earlier in the year, she’d asked if anyone would be interested in helping her test patterns, and I was all, ooh ooh me! I often read about people getting to test patterns and felt jaaaalous, so was super excited that this time that I could be a tester, myself.
This is the bag I made!
The pattern’s marked as intermediate/advanced, and I guess that’s at the very tippy edge of my current bag-making ability, because that dang inset zipper took me two hours to finally get in. I ripped things out many, many times, and when I finally got it in, the bag looked like this:
It was totally worth it, though, because now I (theoretically) know how to add inset zippers to other bags! I already have another bag in mind for that treatment… but anyhoo, it came out pretty nicely on this bag, if I do say so myself, despite how awful it looks on the inside.
Oh yeah, the pattern doesn’t call for it, but I added interior zip and patch pockets. You know, because the bag didn’t have enough compartments. ;> I ended up giving this bag to my niece — it’s so padded that I thought it would make a good bag for her laptop. Also, I really wanted to use that funny musubi print when I saw it in the store, and she was the only person I could think of who wouldn’t give me a look for it. hehehe.
Congratulations to Sara for releasing her pattern! I’m so impressed by people who have the kinds of brains that want to design things!
I finished my dad’s passport document folder! Huzzah! Because of the cross-stitching, I figure it took me about 47 hours. O_o
I used the Wanderlust Pocketbook pattern from Everyday Handmade. It makes a super cute document folder, but the instructions have a couple of errors in them. For one, it tells you to cut the exterior fabric and the exterior’s interfacing an inch too narrow. For two (heh), it only reminds you in the instructions about applying about half of the interfacing pieces — you have to remember yourself to apply the other ones. Fortunately, I always apply my interfacing before sewing anything, but if any novice sewerers just went through and followed the instructions, they’d be sad at the end when they had leftover interfacing pieces.
Anyhoo, the waste canvas that I used to get the cross-stitching done was so neat! I just had to spray it with water, and the canvas threads came out pretty easily. You may notice in the picture below that the Tardis is on a different side than in the finished passport document folder. I ended up having to cut it apart in order to get the Tardis in a better place, so that’s why I wasn’t too upset when I found out that I also had to add width to the exterior because of the error in the book.
The inside of the passport folder has a whole lot of cute pockets for all kinds of stuff. My dad figured out that his Nexus 7 fit into the ticket pocket!
I’m so glad this is done! I paid cash (er, PayPal) munee for that Dr. Who pattern, so I’m happy that it didn’t languish with the other patterns I’ve paid for and have yet to use. Thanks, Shanna and Melissa, for spurring me to finish this!
I had fun sewing a bunch of little things over the holiday weekend, but my brain was totally broken!
Then I made a munster for my little cousin. That went fine — I made her the purple one, and the green one is actually Sunshine’s Christmas present that I hadn’t taken a picture of before. (Sunshine’s does have a big mistake, though: the tutorial tells you to put the zipper pocket fabric the wrong way up initially [it should be right side down], and I hadn’t sewn in months, so I didn’t remember that it was wrong til too late.)
After that, I made a bunch of mini pleated pouches.
I bought the pattern and a bunch of pearl snaps on Michelle’s $5 Fridays and thought it would be cute to use the snaps on some of the pouches. But I wasted at least four snaps because I kept installing them wrong! Quite a while ago, I treated myself to a prong snap installation kit:
… and somehow got it into my head that I was supposed to use the long metal bit to pound in the socket part of the snap. Well, that widened and ruined the snaps I tried to put into my pleated pouches. (What am I supposed to use that metal bit for, anyway?) After some dithering about whether to buy snap pliers, I finally remembered my original snap installation tool: the unbeatable empty thread spool. That worked perfectly! So, note to myself: these are the best snap tools evar:
Finally, I made my mom a mouse pincushion. I had mentioned that I’d finally found crushed walnut shells at the pet store, and my mom said she’d like a pin-sharpening pincushion. Amazingly, I didn’t make any mistakes on this one!
And that was my very fun, broken brain, holiday weekend sewing!
At our family’s New Year’s dinner, my cousin noticed my snapped kleenex holder (oh! which I just realized I never took a picture of, but made using the last set of instructions in this tutorial and sticking a snap on the fabric tab). He is also one of the awesome people in the world who carries around his own kleenex (hehe), and he said that if I ever make a zippered kleenex holder, he’d like one since they’re kind of hard to find nowadays. (Neither of us go to craft fairs, though — maybe that’s where they all are. )
Soon after, A Spoonful of Sugar put up a great zippered pencil case tutorial, which I thought would be perfect to crib from. She said it could hold a small pack of tissues, but also a bunch of pens or a small notebook, so I figured it must be a little larger than what I needed. I tried out a couple of dimensions and found the size I like!
The three sizes I experimented with were:
- 5″ w by 5″ h: too skinny and kind of short
- 5.75″ w x by 5.25″ h: still a little skinny, but a good height
- 6.25″ w x 5.25″ h: my favorite!
This last size (6.25″ wide by 5.25″ high) is the right size for a Cheapie McCheaperson like me, who folds up kleenexes from the box (first in half, then in fourths) to put in my tissue case because I think it’s a waste of money to buy packaged pocket kleenex pouches. It can also hold the tissues from the pocket packs as long as you take them out of the plastic pouch. If you want to keep your pocket kleenex packs in the plastic wrapper and then also put it into a zippered pouch, you’d have to use slightly taller and wider pieces of fabric to start with.
So! In case you want to make these (plain Zane) zippered kleenex cases, here are some notes to supplement A Spoonful of Sugar’s tutorial:
- Cut 1 each exterior and interior fabric 6.25″ wide by 5.25″ high
- Use a 6″ (or larger, of course) zipper
- Don’t bother quilting the exterior
- Topstitch down each side of the zipper
I’m so happy that I can make as many of these zippered kleenex cases as I want, now! And it didn’t cost me $10 for the pattern, either! (hehehe… that’s what I found when I tried to google a pattern.)
Back in the fall, we had a family trip planned to New York, and so I needed to make myself a Weekender for my carry on bag. This is what I made!
Since it was for me, I excused myself from the hassle of trying to match up the zig zags on the pockets and zipper whatsadoodle. I also skimped on the length of the green shoulder straps, hoping that quilting wof would be enough. It wasn’t quite, and made those handles a little hard to use. I didn’t notice much, though, since one-inch straps are uncomfortable anyway when such a big bag is full of stuff, so I hardly used them at all.
I made eighty jillion (or four) pocket modifications: I added a zippered pocket inside one of the outer pockets, slip pockets and a zippered pocket inside the main body, and I changed the back outer pocket to a zippered one.
Like the interior of the bag? This is what happens when you only buy half-yard cuts of all your fabric.
Finally, I added a shoulder strap, but I attached it to the bag waaaaaay too low down, which meant that the bag had a tendency to want to tip over when you used the shoulder strap! That bugged me the whole trip; fortunately, Mr. Yazoo mostly carried my bag for me, so I didn’t have to struggle with it. I’m thinking I might try buying some rivets to make the strap attached higher to the body so it’s more useful.
This sucker is heavy, even when it’s empty! It was an awesome carry on in that it held a ton and fit pretty nicely under the airplane seat, but it was a huge pain because it was uncomfy to carry, heavy, and tippy. The one thing I really love about it its awesome vintage zipper. I can’t bring myself to rip it apart to reclaim the zipper, so now I’m waffling about whether to try fixing the shoulder strap, and then whether to keep it for our next big vacation (yeaaaaars from now) or to give it to my sister since she travels a lot and is always super nice about things I make. heh!
I made tooth fairy elephant pillows for part of my little cousins’ Christmas presents this year, really because it gave me an excuse to get Melody Miller’s cute (but not cheap) pattern. (Actually, I conned my sister into buying it for me… heh!)
Overall, I like this pattern; it’s just a little different from what I’m used to. For instance, there are a bunch of pattern pieces (like the main elephant shape) where you were supposed to keep the outside frame part and discard the inside piece. After going through the instructions, I understood why she made that choice, but I still found those pattern pieces to be floppy and annoying to use and store, so I ended up reprinting them so that I could keep the normal inner pieces.
I do love me a finish-along, so for January I’m choosing something I have to get done on time: a birthday present for my dad. It’s due on the 25th, so I have most of the month, but I need it because I am SLOW! I’m going to make him a passport-and-other-travel-document folder (hopefully he’ll use it during my parents’ upcoming trip to Korea), and I’m cross-stitching the Tardis and all eleven Dr. Whos on the exterior fabric. Eek!
I’m using Wee Little Stitches’ super cool pattern, but boy am I worried about finishing on time! After working on it all day and late last night, this is as far as I got:
So my goal is to finish the Tardis today and then one doctor a day after that. Hopefully that’ll leave me enough time to try pulling off that waste canvas (my first time ever!) and actually make the passport folder. Gogo!
For Christmas this year, I made my ten-year-old niece a fish purse using Make It & Love It‘s adorable tutorial. At first, I thought she might be at the age where she’d want a more grown-up purse, but Mr. Yazoo thought she’d like the fish purse better, and he was right!
I also made her a zip pocket coin purse, but I don’t think she was as excited about that one.