Tag Archive | purses

Sew Fun: Making a Bag Lining

Haha, I conquered the sewing machine yesterday! Remember, I am not a seamstress. But we have a sewing machine from my daughter’s short-lived obsession with sewing, and I really wanted my purse lining. So like I did several months ago with the hot pink crochet purse, I pulled out the machine determined to do it myself.

I pressed the fabric and laid it out on the table. I decided I wanted the silky part of the fabric on both sides. Since the bag didn’t felt completely, there are little holey spots where the fabric will show through. I decided I would just do a rectangle, rather than try to mimic the curve of the bag, since I’m a novice at this sewing thing. I’m certain I didn’t do it the “proper” way (my SIL would probably cringe. Or laugh.) but I ended up with an open bag-type rectangle that should work just fine. Yes, it’s bigger than the bag. Oops. My eyeballing it measuring was not exact. But I’m certainly not going to scrap it and try again. It’ll be fine. It’s pinned in and ready for the hand-sewing portion. Whee. *she said sarcastically*IMG_1815The funny thing is, I’ve kind of had a lot of fun each time I pull out the sewing machine. And it’s really cool that I can just…make stuff. But no, I don’t need another hobby. And I certainly don’t need to start a fabric stash! Right? Right. … But I could start making my own little project bags. That would be fun…

Finding My Happy (i.e. going to the LYS)

My craft fair is this Saturday! Eek! I’ve been so busy getting ready—I think I’ve made at least ten new hats in the last two weeks. I went through my for-sale items and pulled out a couple of older pieces I’m not as proud of anymore, and I pulled out all the things I’ve made since my last craft show, i.e. all the things that need tagged and priced. It was a bit daunting. IMG_5125Since I took that photo, though, I’ve gone through and tagged almost half of it. Of course, I’ve also made two earwarmers , a pair of bootcuffs and worked on a hat order. Like I said, I’ve been busy. And yesterday, a couple of flowers I ordered from Junie Balloonie arrived, and they got added to my bags. I love them! IMG_5127 IMG_5129Speaking of flowers, I also knitted a new one yesterday. The craft fair asked for a donation, so I’m donating a purple and green beanie made with some gorgeous sparkly Berroco Brio. It should make some girl happy. It was originally unadorned, but since it was going to be a focus item, I decided it needed a bit of flair. And quick! Thank to the Rose Pin pattern, I had a little dusky-purple flower to sew to the hat. I like it. IMG_5130Today I needed a break. I needed to do something I wanted to do, not something I thought would sell, not something that was an order or a suggestion. I needed to make something that came completely from me. Of course that means a trip to the LYS, right? I came home with some rainbow Mochi plus, and it’s going to be a simple beanie with a ribbed edge. I love rainbow yarn, hats, ribbing, and working in the round, so this project pleases me. And I even learned a new cast on for it: the German Twisted. It’s so simple and fun; I can’t believe I haven’t done it before! I’m sure the hat will end up at the craft fair, but right now it’s serving its purpose: knitting as therapy. IMG_5137

Back-to-School Knitting

The kids started school today, one in high school and one in middle school. I cannot believe they’re that old, or that I’m old enough to have kids that old. We had an early start to the day to get them on the bus, and now I am relishing the quiet. I still have a bouncy puppy who wants to play, but otherwise the house is empty. There’s no one else here that I have to worry about, or take care of, or anticipate the needs of. It is bliss. It’s a feeling that I haven’t felt for a long time, and I’ve needed it. I like being their mom, I like helping them and the rest of my family, but I need this time to myself too. What’s the saying? “In the event of an emergency, apply the oxygen mask to yourself before helping others.” I’ve been trying to remind myself of that lately, that I need to take care of myself so that I’m healthy enough to help others. But it’s hard. You all know it’s hard.

Anyway, so today. Quiet, empty house. I finished another Christmas present last night so as a reward I’m casting on a treat for myself. When I went to that store-closing sale a few months back, I bought a bunch of yarn, but I also bought an awesome book by Rowan called Winter Warmers. It’s full of patterns for their Lima (worsted) and Alpaca Chunky yarns, which are the weights I use most. They’re all these gorgeous muted tones of gray and blue and lilac and caramel and I want to make everything in there. I don’t have any Rowan chunky, but I do have several skeins of Cascade Baby Alpaca Chunky, which is probably my favorite yarn ever.IMG_4801I have three skeins of this red, and they’ve been earmarked for this pattern since I looked through the book.IMG_4802 Can’t wait! I’m off to cast on now!

 

Sew Satisfying: Hot Pink Crochet Purse with zebra lining

When I was younger, maybe 11 or so, my mom tried to teach me how to sew. We picked out a pattern for some shorts, bought fabric together, and she led me through every step of making those shorts. And I did it; the shorts came out fine and they fit. They were white, and I think I wore them once. And I never sewed anything else with a machine ever again.

Until yesterday.

If you’ve been following along with me, you know that I’ve been making some cute little crochet purses lately. And purses made from yarn tend to stretch out unless you reinforce them with a fabric lining. And that fabric tends to fray along the edge unless you hem the edges. And it’s much faster to hem those edges with a sewing machine than by hand.

With my last two bags, I waited until I could get my SIL (who’s talented at so many different crafts) to “help” me hem the linings. Truth be told, I did have a sewing machine in my house. My daughter has one, given to her when she had a brief romance with sewing. But she’d forgotten how to use it, so I couldn’t get her to help me. And come on, isn’t it always easier to have someone else do the chore you don’t like?

Sure, it is, until you don’t want to have to work on their schedule. After I finished my purple crochet bag, I was desperate to finish the hot pink one. I’d found some amazing zebra fabric and black handles, and I wanted that bag done TODAY. So, fine! I would do it myself! I am nothing if not stubborn, and I refused to believe that I *couldn’t* do it. I might not like it, but I could do it.

I got out the machine, set up the spool of thread, threaded it, and then remembered the bobbin. Where was it? This machine is different than my SIL’s, and the bobbin was hiding. My daughter was sleeping and I had no idea where the manual was, so I turned to my best friend: Google. Sure enough, the manual was available online. I found the bobbin, re-threaded the spool of thread (correctly this time), and prepared to sew for the first time. Yes, I used a spare bit of fabric to test. I pressed the pedal and Whee! Off it went! Unfortunately, it looked awful and the thread was doing weird things and I had no idea what I was doing wrong.

In a weak moment, I texted SIL, hoping she’d come rescue me. When no response came, I took a deep breath and started over from the beginning. This time I realized that the little metal foot by the needle needs to come down when you’re ready to sew. Oops. That made all the difference. I practiced several times and then I was ready for the real thing!

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Darn it all, I *did* actually enjoy it. Maybe it was just the thrill of overcoming my resistance, of gaining a skill I thought I didn’t want or need. Either way, when I was done with this, I really wished I had something else to sew. My corners aren’t mitered, and my edges aren’t perfectly straight, but the stitching is straight and even. Most importantly, it will work just fine for a purse lining. Like this:

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IMG_2613I love this little bag. And it is little. It’s made with just one skein of Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima cotton, which is a DK weight. I didn’t have enough to double the strands, so the purse measures a delicate 9″ by 6″, which is still big enough to hold the essentials. The black bamboo handles and zebra lining came from Joann. Although I’m tempted to keep this one for myself, I currently have it listed for sale on my Facebook site, and you can check it out here

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Finished Project: Purple Crochet Purse

Hey! Hey! Guess what?? I finished my purple purse last night!! And I’m sooo very happy with it. The girl had piano lesson yesterday (her teacher is my BIL) so my SIL helped me hem the purple cotton for the lining (okay, okay, she hemmed it. I watched.) and as soon as I got home I started stitching it into the bag.

IMG_4599It went quickly and after dinner I was ready to finish crocheting the rest of the bag. I did have a brief moment of panic after I tied off the last row: I got out the handles and held them up to the bag, and they were just a little bit wider than I anticipated. But I just spaced out the crocheted tabs to compensate, and it actually worked out really well. The final step was to sew in a little snap.

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 Then it was done! Really and truly done! I hung it on my chair and admired my new purse.

IMG_4602All right, it was done, but it needed *something* to jazz it up a bit. So I added my purple Junie Balloonie flower. (Have you ever checked out her website? Lovely flowers in all sizes, handmade, custom-made. Great to put on purses, in your hair, as a brooch, even on your pets! Take a peek here. I love them!).

IMG_2606The bag was done with one skein of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Sugar Plum, and used all but maybe one yard. The lining was a fabric remnant, and the snap and handles I found at Joann. I’m so glad this project didn’t linger on like my last fat-bottom bag. I’m delighted with the results and can’t wait to finish my pink bag now!

 

 

Help me design my next bag

While I wait to meet up with my SIL to hem the lining for my purple bag, I’m desperate to crochet another one. I have some fabric in my stash that’s calling my name, so now the task is to match up yarn and fabric. I have this blue cotton. What color yarn would you match it with?

IMG_4521I confess, I am not terribly creative with my color combinations. I tend to stick with matchy-matchy stuff, so of course I pulled out this skein of cotton/silk. Does it work? Is it too boring?

IMG_4520I also have this gorgeous satiny fuchsia polyester. It might not be a lot of fun to hem or sew in, but it sure will make a fantastic lining.IMG_4516And of course I have my matching yarns to choose from. The first is some cotton Sprout.IMG_4517Or I have this lovely Cascade 128 Superwash.IMG_4518Then I stuck a toe out of my traditional box and tried this variegated Malabrigo.IMG_4519I do like it, but then I remembered I have more purple cotton. Maybe the Malabrigo would look better with purple? Or maybe I’d rather save the Malabrigo for something other than a bag?IMG_4524From there, I went a little wild. I found some color combinations that are more…shocking. Bright. Vibrant. I know I like these colors together, but would they be too overwhelming in a bag?IMG_4522

IMG_4523So that’s what I have to work with, and I’d love to get some feedback! What do you like? What do you not like? What color combinations would you try that I haven’t thought of? 

 

Purple Crochet Fat-Bottom Bag

I must be crazy to be attempting this pattern again. Last year I made a powder blue crochet fat-bottom bag. Crocheting the body of the bag went quickly, but then I got stuck on the whole lining part. I’m not a seamstress, in fact I hate that part, so I put it off forever before finally begging my SIL to help me. Once I got the lining cut and hemmed, I had to hand-sew the darn lining into the bag.

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Sure, after that, the finishing went quickly, but still, the whole process took so long that it drove me bonkers. Unfortunately I loved the finished product. It wasn’t my color, and I knew I would never carry it, so my MIL has it now, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it, especially once I had Junie Balloonie make an accent flower for it.

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When I found a skein of purple Cotton-Ease at an estate sale, I knew I needed to make a fat-bottom bag for myself. It took a while but last night I decided I’d waited long enough. Picking up a crochet hook after knitting for months felt like catching up with an old friend. I fell into the rhythm of crochet quickly and the body bag was done before I knew it. I’m using this pattern from Ravelry, but since it’s not in English, I’m mostly referring to this website. Now the body is done, and I even have this remnant of purple cotton in my crafting stash, so I think I’m ready for the next step…except I still need help from the person with the sewing machine! Hopefully I’ll have a new bag to show off in the next few days!

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