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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Busy busy busy

Summer. I love it. The heat, the relaxed schedule, the kids enjoying life and each other’s company … when it’s all working together, it’;s amazing. Ah, this life!

I have been busy busy busy at home – we’re painting the interior of the new house. OK, new to us; it’s an old house.

I have been busy busy busy at work – corporate laid off dozens in my location over the past two days, so it’s been stressful and sad.

I have been busy busy busy  with the girls – fun in the yard, fun at the library, school shopping is done, school sewing is not even started, but we have plans! Fabric purchased and tutorials picked out, it’ll get done, hopefully, in these last weeks before school starts. I am planning peasant dresses for both girls, fully lined rainbow skirts with a scalloped hem … stay tuned!

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I have been busy busy busy sewing – since last I posted, I have made reversible bucket hats for myself and both girls, some American Girl Itty Bitty Baby doll clothes  (including this self-drafted, shirred bodice sundress from a scrap!) and a messenger bag as a gift for my Mom. Which I have to finish tomorrow.

Stay tuned for tutorial reviews on each of these projects!

Purple sundress!

Purple sundress!

So, this was a quick sundress that taught me something new! Attaching the straps in a sandwich style takes some planning, but it looks terrific. My little purple-loving preschooler wants to wear this dress ASAP, but the straps ended up too long. I’m trying to figure out how to fix them without making it too obvious.

I used this tutorial, but I think she’s nuts, there’s no way it took only one hour. It was fast, but not THAT fast! http://fromanigloo.blogspot.com/2010/02/one-hour-sundress.html

I modified the tut for a bigger sundress for my older daughter, and it was even faster. She won’t wear hers. Cause there’s BIRDS. Oh, the humanity.

There’s no pattern to buy or download, it’s just rectangles. It takes a good bit of math at the beginning, but if I can manage it, anyone can, promise!

Details to follow!

Welcome!

I’m Betsy. A 30-something, working, suburban mom of two. I’m into sewing (for me and my young daughters), photography, reading, TV, and chocolate. Oh, and wine. Please, sit for a spell and join me!

Here’s my most recent sewing project – a fast and easy three-layered skirt, perfect for summer, and best of all, both girls love them!

I used this layered skirt tutorial from Crazy Little Projects. It’s designed for a baby, but it was easily scale-able up to a 6T and a 7, which my girls are wearing now.

It’s important for every home sewist mama to have their children’s measurements written down. I have a cute little notebook on my sewing table that has chest, waist, waist-to-knee  and shoulder-to-just-above-the-knee measurements for each of my daughters. That makes it easier on everyone, since every time I try to measure them it ends up being something akin to a WWE Battle Royale. Then, each time they go up a size in store-bought clothes, simply measure them again.

My oldest, destined to be a supermodel, picked out her own fabrics from my stash. I guided my little one, a preschooler, toward the fabrics for hers. Both girls love their skirts, and are asking for cherry/watermelon/cherry skirts, too. Good thing I have more fabric in my hoard (oops, I mean stash) – and these are so easy to make, I can’t say no! Next time I make one, I’ll take photos of the process and post my measurements.

I may also find a different way to encase the elastic – there ends up being a LOT of fabric to sew through with this method.