Christmas fun!

Working on a quilted wine bag. So far I have two cut out, using fun Christmas prints.

I’m using a tutorial from Needle and Spatula. Easy enough to follow so far, except I only have fusible fleece on hand to use as batting. We’ll see how that works out, but I think it’ll come together just fine. I hope.

Also hoping these fabrics go together all right. I will use the green candy fabric for the interior. What do you think?

Quilted wine bottles, in progress.

Quilted wine bottles, in progress.

The colors actually coordinate better in real life.

I think my concern is, does the candy print work for a wine bag (interior), or is it too juvenile and therefore incongruent with a wine bottle bag? I’magonna make these up this way, regardless, I was just wondering what others think?

Zippered pouches and totes!

Trying to decide what to give as gifts, and to whom, and what to sell.
What do you think? The library totes I’m thinking of selling, just need to put some finishing touches on my Etsy page, etsybetsybobetsy (of course!).

This roomy tote in super fun polka dots is an all around favorite. Great library bag, especially if you have children!

This roomy tote in super fun polka dots is an all around favorite. Great library bag, especially if you have children!

Roomy, sturdy the all-around top favorite tote!

Roomy, sturdy the all-around top favorite tote!

Love this fabric. Not sure I can part with this one! Fun green, black and white crossbody bag, great for a shopping day.

Love this fabric. Not sure I can part with this one! Fun green, black and white crossbody bag, great for a shopping day.

Black and white damask with hot pink accents, zippered pouch. Great purse organizer! Makes an awesome gift!

Black and white damask with hot pink accents, zippered pouch. Great purse organizer! Makes an awesome gift!

STILL sewing for Halloween! Or, why I hate sleeves.

I got stuck, and left the Big One’s Harry Potter robe alone for a while, Too long, actually.

I am much closer to done after some work over the past 2 days, though.

I have realized that 1) It would have been cheaper and far less frustrating  to just buy it, and 2) I shouldn’t attempt projects without a pattern if I don’t have previous experience and/or a really good tutorial.

I’m making a fully lined, hooded cloak with bell sleeves and a toggle button closure. I ordered a Ravenclaw patch on Etsy – cheap, quick shipping and perfect! It totally creates the mood and will finish the look.

The sleeves. Oh, the sleeves. Normally I sew bags — tote bags, makeup bags, zippered pouches, backpacks, messenger bags — nothing with sleeves. I have made girls dresses with short, elastic hemmed sleeves. With a tutorial. This I’m doing all on my own, and it’s been a LOT of learning experiences! Yesterday I ripped out one lining sleeve 2 times, and the other lining sleeve one time. Then I decided to sew the end of the sleeves together, but when I turned it right side out it was a Frankenstein arm. NOT right. Ah, well. Set it aside, I’ll rip it out tomorrow.

The Little One wanted to be Anna from Frozen, and when I found just what she wanted, WITH a capelet that had a “jewel” at the neck, I ordered it — under $20, shipped? Fine. Good. Great! And it’s super cute and she loves it.

I can only hope after the hours put into the Harry Potter robe, the Big One love it, too.

Still Harry Potter obsessed!

Universal Orlando was amazing, and we totally kept the secret until we were about to walk out the door to get on the plane! Kids had a blast, despite 2 days of rain, and we saw and did just about everything we had hoped to do!

As suspected, the interactive wands were a huge hit. The girls picked out their own wands, and then they could use them in certain “shop” windows to get things to happen – medallions in the cobblestones gave a spell to say and wand movement to use. Sensors hidden in the display reacted to their wands, and made something happen in the display – at the bakery, the cake topper skated around the top of the cake (no visible track), in another one, they turned on a bunch of second-floor lights. Lots to do, and it was quite entertaining. Their favorite was the interactive skeleton in Knockturn Alley, who mimicked their movements. Great fun! Also amazing: Butterbeer ice cream, frozen butterbeer, the Hogwarts Express, the Knight Bus, the Ministry of Magic phone booth, butterbeer ice cream, the rides, the rides, the rides, the amazing detail in the highly-themed atmosphere and did I mention butterbeer ice cream yet?

Halloween

The Little One cannot be swayed and wishes to be Anna from Frozen. But not that green Coronation dress costume you can find everywhere, oh, no, she wants the blue one. The blue one that doesn’t seem to be made over size 3T. Mama does NOT want to make that blue dress costume!

The Big One, being Very Thoroughly Harry Potter Obsessed, asked me to make her a Ravenclaw House cloak. I had 2 yards of decent quality black felt, but purchased another yard just in case. I won’t need it for this one, but when the Little One sees how awesome her big sis’ cloak is, I may be making another cloak, but in Slytherin green. Or Hufflepuff yellow. She’s little, we haven’t quite gotten a House picked for her yet!

So I’m basing the project off this post on Burda Style: http://www.burdastyle.com/projects/harry-potter-robes. It’s not a pattern, per se, but I managed to draft it OK. The black felt exterior is done, now to cut and sew the blue broadcloth lining.

She tried it on today and it’s too big – sleeves and overall length are too long. I think I’m going to try to hem it all so that I can just let it out as she grows. Not sure the felt will hold up to that, though.

At My House Right Now

In other news, Play Doh is making a comeback in popularity in my house this week. What’s the hot toy right now in your house?

Surprising the girls!

We’re headed to Orlando for some Harry Potter fun over the long weekend, and it’s a surprise. Shocked to say, we haven’t slipped up, and they don’t suspect a thing!

Mischief Managed!

Mischief Managed!

It was recently The Big One’s 8th birthday, and she requested a Harry Potter theme. So I made the girls freezer-paper stenciled Harry Potter shirts using silver fabric paint and cheapy Children’s Place t-shirts,  bought on sale with free shipping, thankyouverymuch.

I used this excellent tutorial from Pieces by Polly. It’s step-by-step and provides great photos and tips.She even has her images available to print and cut out with an exacto knife. Easy peasy. Turned out awesome.

I put this stencil by Heidi Schulz to work on the back of the shirts, up at the neck line, like a logo. Scaled the image down for The Big One, and used just the lightning bolt for The Little One, by request.

I used an old black tee, gold glitter fabric paint and a Harry Potter font to make a Mischief Managed tee for me. Deathly Hollows mark on the front, Mischief Managed and footprints on the back. Very hard to get a good photo of it, drying surreptitiously in the basement. The Hubs wants one, too.

Have you been to a theme park this summer? Ever been to Universal Studios? Have you done any crafting for your trip?

Up next! CHRISTMAS GIFTS!

Have you started thinking about or working on holiday gifts yet? Winter will be here before you know it! If you’re anything like me, you know the stress of last-second sewing and mental pleading that the post office delivers a package on time to your sister. And mom. And …

I am determined this year to do 2 things: 1) MAKE more gifts (Things I’ve sewn for others in the past have been very well received!) and 2) Start early and avoid the “should have mailed this sooner” guilt.

Looking to make several wallets for female friends and family members. Thinking of using this tutorial from Color Me Domestic which is a take on All Wrapped Up’s Patchwork-y Bifold Wallet Tutorial for some of the adult women on my list.

For the kids, I was thinking of trying Noodlehead’s Zippy Wallet Tutorial but I’ve never done a snap like that. Another blogger said it was quick and easy, and it’s so cute! Any advice on snaps?

I’m looking for a small wallet tutorial that has a zippered pocket for change, too. Hmmmm… may just have to create my own!

Quick back to school project!

A stash-buster, too!

Using remnants from other projects and even scraps of interfacing, I whipped up this pencil case using the Pencil Case tutorial at Bits and Pieces.

The soon-to-be kindergartener has had fun putting pens, pencils, toy cars, little dolls, etc., in (and out!) of the pouch.

Can you tell the 5-year-old picked out the fabrics? She especially loves the tabs.

Fun little pencil case!

Fun little pencil case!

She picked stripes for inside, too, naturally!

Boxed, lined pencil case

Boxed, lined pencil case

This went together in about an hour. I think we spent about that long picking out fabrics from the scrap basket.

She really thought she wanted a violet zipper, but Big Sis convinced her red was the way to go. I concur!

Super fun backpack!

I picked up this lovely owl fabric at Joann for $4 a yard. Despite my self-imposed moratorium on fabric purchasing without a planned project, I bought 2 yards. I also was picking up a yard of hot pink for a different project (as yet undone, but planned!) and grabbed a yard of the solid blue on sale, too.

I snagged the Simplicity 1388 pattern for super cheap, I think 99 cents. Add in a $2 buckle, D-rings, velcro and interfacing from my stash and (Darnitall! Too big!) black cording (Should have gone with white, and smaller diameter, I’ll pick up a new version sometime soon!), and I have a super cute owl backpack.

My super cute owl backpack from Simplicity pattern 1388. LOVE IT!

My super cute owl backpack from Simplicity pattern 1388. LOVE IT!

I heart it. It’s a smidge too large for my everyday needs, and I didn’t follow instructions for the straps (she used webbing). I also added a top-loop handle, which has already proven handy.

I found the pattern very easy to follow. I had a lot of fun playing the color combos, but it is a LOT of pieces to cut and interface. The interior of each pocket and the inside of the bag are all in the blue. My interior zippered pocket has a hot pink zipper and lining.

Am I the only one who seems to finish their carry-on bag a day before they leave for vacation? I’ve done that twice now!

This is a fun bag to put together, once the cutting and interfacing are all done (I generally don’t find cutting fun. Can’t be the only one!). I really like the way the top drawstring channel was created, and will definitely use that technique in the future. I had also never made exterior pockets this way, and will certainly do that again. The pockets are very useful sizes, and I love the pop of color!

What have you been working on? I think I’m planning another, smaller backpack (view A) from  this pattern set in the owl fabric. Will have to check what zippers it needs and what I have on hand.

Speaking of zippers! Got my wawak.com order  – buy 2 get one free, so I bought 2 25-packs, and those worked with the sale so I got 75 zippers in 14″ and 11″ lengths in a variety of colors. I had never used the site before, but shipping was reasonable and fast. Price per zipper was far, far cheaper than buying individually at Joann.

Look at these fun fabrics!

Fun prints! Fun colors! Fast, easy scrap-busting project! Hurrah!

These are awesome little zippered pouches, great to throw in your purse to organize all that stuff that usually embarrassingly falls out at the worst possible moment. Or, add a wristlet and carry all the essentials – great for a phone, small camera, cash and keys.

Mostly using this sew4home wristlet tutorial but also incorporating Dog Under My Desk’s neat and tidy zippered pouches tutorial for a polished, secure, no-raw-seams inside finish.

These make great gifts. This speedy project is a stash-buster, lets you try your hand at mixing and matching prints. Yes, there’s a zipper – but fear not! This is as basic and as easy a zipper installation as you’ll ever come across. If you’ve never done a zipper, this is a great project to learn on, because if you totally mess it up (You wont!) you won’t waste a lot of fabric.

Here’s a few of my takes on this great little pouch!

All zippered up! D ring can hold keys, a carrabiner, or a wrist strap.

All zippered up! D ring can hold keys, a carrabiner, or a wrist strap.

 

Opened up. See the pretty lining? A great size for your purse essentials.

Opened up. See the pretty lining? A great size for your purse essentials.

Super fun color combos! With a small project like this, you can use bright, wild colors for a fun little bag!

Super fun color combos! With a small project like this, you can use bright, wild colors for a fun little bag!

Linen adds a classic, timeless look and feel, and holds up wonderfully.

Linen adds a classic, timeless look and feel, and holds up wonderfully.

Getting motivated

Summer. I love it. Cool drinks, warm sun, a breeze, a book… ahhhh.

But it can be so hard to take the time to enjoy the sunny days. Kids, work, house, hobbies, kids … everything still needs to be done. Boss doesn’t like it when you call out because it’s sunny. Kids still need guidance. And food. Lil stinkers like to eat 3+ times a day!

My sewing hobby has captivated my interest again, after a long post-holiday break. I made a messenger bag for my sister’s birthday — black and white with a pop of hot pink and a hot pink interior — along with a zippered pouch, a sunglasses case and a monogrammed keychain, all in the same fabrics.Turned out so cute, but my photos left a lot to be desired. I was already a week late getting it all finished (but we’re like that, she and I), so I packaged it up and sent it off without taking good photos.

Told ya the photos were awful! But I love this messenger bag I made for my sister, and it was HARD to package it up and mail it out!

Told ya the photos were awful! But I love this messenger bag I made for my sister, and it was HARD to package it up and mail it out!

I have also completed a couple of other bags and zippered wristlets which I adore! (more to come on those later this week!)

Keep reading: Photos and links to tuts used

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