Make Nine 2019 Plans

My wardrobe is in a dire need of a refresh. It’s been a year or so since I’ve sewn much, due to a lot of major things going on behind the scenes, and I’m not a prolific shopper, so some of my favorite pieces are starting to wear out. I have identified a handful of basics to form my core wardrobe.mosaicd16acbd72562cdd658fa7e8495fde0f2a57ba824I’ll be making jeans, tees, leggings, work trousers, and a button down shirt. For fun, I’d like to make that cute New Look 6000 dress…maybe even in red, as pictured. I also want to tailor a traditional jacket. I can use a well fitting jacket for work, so it’s not just a garment that will take up space in my closet like the Marie Antoinette gown.

Finally, because I love to knit, I’ve added two knitting projects to my queue: a traditional tam and a “So Faded” sweater which I’ll knit out of some gorgeous yarn I bought from Asylum Fibers.

I will not be restricting myself to any particular patterns because I don’t know if they’ll work for me until I start messing around with them. For a case in point, take the Grainline Lark T-shirt pictured above. After I taped all the PDF pattern sheets together, I could immediately see it wasn’t going to work for me. It appears to be designed for someone who has an angular rather than a curvy shape and their upper torso is significantly longer than mine. I could have made some extensive alterations to make it work for me, but that didn’t seem like much fun, especially when I have two t-shirt patterns that I know work for me, the old Ottobre t-shirt from 2009 or so and the Deer and Doe Plantain.

IMG_8198-2

Here’s my first version of the Ottobre t-shirt this year. I used up some stash fabric, which is another goal of mine.

For the striped t-shirt, I used the long sleeve pattern from Deer and Doe, but altered the sleeve cap to fit it onto the Ottobre t-shirt body.

IMG_8213-2
I also added a cat for decoration.

IMG_8211-2

Next up: button down blouses!

Happy new year!

Miss Maggie’s Handbag

I’m so completely chuffed. I made a handbag! I didn’t think I had it in me to sew through thick layers of finicky materials like vinyl and foam stabilizer. I’m notoriously bad with a hammer and screwdriver. But I did it and I don’t think it looks too shabby…

IMG_8166

Pattern Description:

“Miss Maggie’s Handbag is a great starting point for any beginner to advanced bag maker. It starts out as a simple handbag that allows you to use several styles of our Emmaline Strap Anchors, and after you personalize it with your own style, it will become one of your favourite bags. ”

Pattern Sizing:

11″ wide x 10″ high x 4″ deep.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes!

Were the instructions easy to follow?

Yes, the instructions were excellent even for this bag-sewing neophyte. There is a typo in the instructions which caused me a problem. As noted on the emmaline bags website, “The cutting chart lists the measurement for the Foam Stabilizer at 17″ x 34″, but the correct measurement is in the cutting list and materials list. The cutting chart is not correct.” I didn’t see that before I cut out the foam and had to buy another piece.

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like how simple and elegant it is. The bag is just the right size to carry all my odds and ends when I commute to work. It’s not too large so I don’t end up carrying too much. I like the short handles because I don’t wear purses over my shoulder; however, my daughter thinks any bag without a cross-body strap is a sad, sad thing. If you’re like her, you’ll either want to add a longer strap or look at a different pattern.

Fabric Used:

I used some vinyl with a flocked filigree design that I found at Joann’s for the body. I used some quilter’s cotton (a gold-flecked cork print) for the lining.

IMG_8164

The bag also required fusible interfacing, heavy interfacing such as Timtex for the base and foam stabilizer. Hardware included handle anchors, rivets, bag feet, a magnetic clasp, a tassel clasp, and a “handmade” label. I sourced most of these from emmaline bags. I found the magnetic clasp at my local fabric store. I found a large lot of rivets on Amazon, which was good because I’m terrible at inserting these and destroyed more than a few before getting them attached securely.

IMG_8167

I used a lot of E-6000 glue. I also used a few bits of thin quilter’s batting to cover up the backs of the hardware so they didn’t poke holes in the lining.

I tried to use heavy duty thread (upholstery) for the top-stitching, but even with a leather needle and a top-stitching needle, it frayed and I was unable to continue.

When folding the material for the handbag over on itself a couple of times, I resorted to double-sided fashion tape to hold the layers together. It worked like a charm.

I needed an awl to poke holes through the material and a hammer for the rivets.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The pattern suggested adding heavy duty snaps on the sides to cinch in the top of the bag to give it a nice shape. I opted not to do that for two reasons: (1) I would never use the snaps because I like to fill up my bags to the brim and the snaps would reduce the bag’s capacity; (2) the material was thick and didn’t looked a bit messy when pleated.

I made the tassel following this tutorial: Tassel Tutorial

Note: You really do need a tiny screwdriver to do this. I started out trying to use a fork. No good. I then used the screwdriver included with my serger. Too large. Finally, like Goldilocks, I bought a tiny screwdriver set at Lowes for $5. One of those suckers worked perfectly.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?

Yes, sure!

Conclusion:

I LOVE this bag. It looks so snazzy with all the shiny bits. I carry it around with pride.

50 Things that Make Me Happy

I saw this over at Reader Voracious and it seemed like the perfect way to reset my attitude. I have been grappling with some very stressful things lately (kids, job, health, the meaning of life, etc.) and my mental health has taken a hit. It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the terrible things, but I don’t want to spend another minute in The Land of the Bitter and Sad. So, without further ado, here’s a list of 50 little things that make me happy!

  1. Silly repartee with my daughter
  2. Hugging my sonFamily
  3. Long phone calls with my mother
  4. Sweet texts from my boyfriend
  5. The smell of yeast when baking bread
  6. Cuddling with my cat
  7. Hiking along one of the beautiful trails in the Pacific Northwest, admiring snow-capped mountains, fields of wildflowers and gem-like lakesIMG_7610.jpg
  8. Playing Brahms on the Piano
  9. Sunshowers
  10. The smell of sagebrush just after it rained
  11. Chocolate chip cookiesChocolate Chip
  12. Pretty yarn on the needles
  13. Blackberry hibiscus iced tea
  14. Sleeping under a heavy comforter when it’s cold out
  15. Guitar lessons with Ted and Claire
  16. Getting lost in a good book
  17. Geeking out over a spreadsheet
  18. Watching Amelie
  19. The heart-shaped splotch on my cat’s back
  20. Taking off on a jet plane
  21. Weekend car trips
  22. Wandering through a bookstore or library
  23. Fresh-baked almond croissants
  24. Answering the door to see my boyfriend standing there with a shy smile on his face
  25. Meeting my mother at the airport
  26. Cooking with my mom
  27. Cutting in to the good fabric
  28. Wearing a quirky hat10.366 - Yee Haw
  29. Kitty purrs
  30. Silence after a snow fall
  31. Autumn leaves
  32. Autumn sunshine17.366 - Basking
  33. Making dinner for someone who appreciates it
  34. Wearing pajamas all day
  35. Listening to music that reminds me of my father (Louis Prima, Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Palestrina…)
  36. Singing loudly along to music while driving somewhere
  37. Tidying up my apartment
  38. Eating out somewhere new
  39. Reading cookbooks
  40. Decorating cookies
  41. Jogging when in shape
  42. Using good quality art supplies
  43. Colorful sunsets
  44. Hunting for four-leaf clovers and sand dollars
  45. Joking around with my friends
  46. Wearing something pretty
  47. Drinking a good gin and tonic or a good mojito
  48. Walking in a park with the swallows circling you
  49. Spotting wild animals in their proper habitat: bears, cougars, foxes, coyotes, etc.
  50. Cat naps