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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Vera wristlet hack

I will admit that I think the Vera Bradley bags are pretty, but I will also admit that there is no way I will spend good money on one when I can make lovely fabric bags myself. I am currently carrying a purse that gets mistaken for a Vera bag often.

Recently, I had seen these VB wristlets in the stores and decided they would be handy for when I just want to carry a few things (and esp. if I didn't have pockets).

This is the Carry-It-All wristlet from Vera Bradley. If I didn't sew, I would almost certainly buy one, but I do Vera isn't getting my $42.

Enter Butterick 5728, a Waverly design with several options of small bags. View F is pretty darn close to this one.

I made my version with a pretty cotton print - not quilted, but interfaced with fusible fleece and lined with a coordinating blue stripe. I added the piping, contrast zipper, and embroidered monogram to personalize it more.
There is a cell phone pocket on the back and it is well-sized. I just got a Samsung Galaxy S3 (which I love!). It's a pretty big phone - 4.5 in. screen - and it fits in this nicely.

You could easily add more pockets to this, but I stuck with just one because I do not want to use it as a wallet beyond holding my license and debit card if I was traveling very light.
I got the cute cover for my phone off of eBay - cheaper than at the mall and way cuter! I love Marie from the Aristocats. ;-)

Just to give you another size comparison, here is my phone beside the wristlet. While my phone is very slim, this little bag can hold quite a bit if you need it to. For now I am using it to hold cell phone accessories (extra charger & spare batteries, but it would be easily pressed into service as a simple bag for an outing when I didn't want to carry much.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Merry & bright

This weekend's sewing theme...bright red! Gracie has these fantastic red boots and now she has a couple more bright outfits to go with them.

The aqua top was from a 4/2006 (#25) Ottobre pattern and I added the apple design from Planet Applique. The skirt was McCall's 6598 done in Kaufman corduroy (apples) and some red polka dot cord I got from the Patsy Aiken outlet.

While it might be faster to embellish a pre-made tee, I do think it is easier to stitch out the designs on a shirt that has not yet been constructed. I debated how I wanted to handle the hems on this, but doing a rolled hem after construction on all the ruffles ended up being the easiest option. Then while the serger was still set up for it, I did the same rolled hem on all the skirt tiers prior to constructing the skirt itself.

I decided to make the skirt adjustable for little skinny-mini here and use buttonhole elastic for the waistband. It is stitched down on one end and a button placed inside for adjustments. The other end of the elastic is coming out through a small buttonhole opening inside.

I was excited about receiving a pattern order from a European web site which included some Farbenmix patterns I have been wanting, a Knipmode, a Burda, and a few other independent European pattern makers.

Skippy the cat seems to approve of Gracie's holiday shirt!

Of course, he might just be excited that the gate is finally down after almost 12 years. We could have taken it down sooner, but just hadn't...of course, soon we will need to repaint that wall!

For the Grinch top, I used Farbenmix's Hilde shirt pattern and constructed the front, back, and sleeves of the top before I stitched out the Grinch, Max, and Cindy-Lou. All of the knits are from my Patsy Aiken fabric stash. Since I have a lot of knits, this pattern is perfect for using up a variety of colorful patterns. I cut out a second one of these tops in a blue-green colorway. It will be a non-holiday theme though.

Up next, a Vogue knit dress, a knit top from Knipmode, and Hilde v.2!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Dollhouse Project

When I was a little girl, I got a dollhouse for Christmas when I was 7 years old. I adored that dollhouse. I played with it for years and could spend hours rearranging the furniture, redecorating, and playing with the occupants of the house. Over the years, I added furniture, accessories, and even a second house that my dad built based on the first one.

When I was a teen, I finally packed it up before we moved away from Virginia. The house went to Pennsylvania, and then North Carolina, where it spent twelve years waiting for a little girl to be born and to be old enough to play with it.

This is the original house - made from a kit and never painted! The first thing I did to make it special for Gracie was get started with the painting.
Gracie even helped a little too (seen here painting the roof of dollhouse number two - which my dad built based on the original kit house).

We moved around some toys and prepared the area under her bed to become the dollhouse neighborhood. The house on the left is a Calico Critters dollhouse. A lot of the stuff from that mixes well with the things I have saved over the years both in size and style.
We had fun with the exterior colors, making the small house green with black shutters. Inside, it got even more colorful. 

I am loving the cream and navy color scheme (with brick red doors picking up the color of the chimney bricks) on this house.

Inside, I had more colorful fun - particularly with the pre-printed plywood floor. I filled in the "tile" pattern downstairs and did a fake brick and stone fire place.

Once these houses were painted, I took them back to my house and helped my daughter furnish them. Then, I began making curtains. I wanted her to be able to switch around the curtains so I used hook and loop tape to mount them on the walls above each window. The windows in my two old houses are standard sizes so they will be interchangeable.

Here are some of the completed rooms:
The "completed" neighborhood...although I am quite certain that there will be more details to add over the years. As of now, every surface on the old houses have been painted. Every window in all 3 (except the curved windows in the CC house) have window treatments of varying styles. Now I remember why I wanted to shrink down and live inside my dollhouses when I was a little girl. It's a pretty cool little world! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

New Vogues!

With all the election and storm coverage, somehow new patterns fell off my radar! I am loving the new Vogues.

V1326 - colorblocking a la Tom and Linda Platt

I can see this being a flattering choice on many.

This Anne Klein design, V1327, has some nice bodice detail.

This is a nice, easy to sew knit dress from designer Kay Unger (V1328).

PLus, more colorblocking from Kay Unger with V 1329. I think this is stunning.

I think the cut of V8848 would be very figure-flattering. I'd love to have it in a pretty pink like this!

You know already how I feel about color-blocking. I can definitely say V8856 is on my wish list.

Now, I don't see myself purchasing or making V8860, only because I have a wool coat underway from an Ottobre pattern, but I like this design. I'm sure you cannot guess why.

I don't much care for the pants, but the blouse options are nice in V1334, a Sandra Betzina design.

I don't think my husband would wear it, but I could see my sons loving this: V 8869

The bags of V8867 would be some fun little accessories.

I guess all I need now is the next pattern sale.