Sewalong Challenge #8 Complete

Whoohoo, finished one!
I’ve been so far behind this feels like a huge victory XD
It wasn’t what I meant to do, and the whole thing took me maybe 20 minutes, but, it fulfills the challenge so I’ll take it.

Some time ago some friends bought me this teeshirt:

It’s a little hard to tell because of the lighting but… it’s tan. 
I appreciated the thought, ’cause as they well knew I love Magneto. But I don’t care for brown. The only brown thing in my wardrobe is my jedi cloak, and that’s only allowed because… jedi cloak.
So I folded it up and put it aside until I could decide what to do with it. My original thought was to make a red backpack with purple trim and cut out the picture and applique it to it. But when I got it out earlier this month along with a bunch of other teeshirts I’d set aside to refashion (funnily, I was actually looking for a different shirt from the same friends in particular) the print was much larger than I’d remembered. Aaaaand I decided I just didn’t like it enough to go through all the effort of making a cute backpack.
I recently started following Matt from the Great British Sewing Bee at Sew What’s New (if you haven’t watched that show, you should, it’s full of really lovely, nice, creative people. I’m particularly fond of the history bits, and Patrick), and he posted a tee shirt refashion just this month.
I’ve seen these tee shirt bags before, but his tutorial is a nice clear one and I hadn’t thought of zigzagging the edges to prevent overstretching.
Anyway, so I did that.

Challenge #8, Something Geek Inspired, done!
Also it’s a refashion, so technically Challenge #6 done also 8D

And bonus, yesterday’s harvest:

Water Bottle Holder Tutorial

So I’ve been pretty scatter brained lately (uuuuh… the last two years…) and making stupid mistakes in my sewing, just from not paying attention. I’ve found that running a mental commentary as if I were making a tutorial really helps me stay focused. So when I was making this, I thought why not just actually make it a tutorial?
Plus sometimes it helps to try to figure out how to put things into words rather than vague hand gestures.
So any C&C would be welcome!

My gramma asked me to make her a new insulated water bottle holder, she had this one she’d bought that either was for her old water bottle or she’d just bought it not knowing if it’d fit or… something. I’m really not sure. Point is it didn’t fit the water bottle she uses now.
Fortunately, we have the same water bottle! This one from Target (coincidentally, we even bought the same colour). So I measured the base and the height and made a mockup for my own water bottle. I say mockup, what I mean is I just went for it 8D;; And made some adjustments to her’s.

Anyway! You will need:
– Two 7.5″ x 22″ pieces of fabric (I’m using quilting cotton scraps) for lining and shell
– One 7.5″ x 22″ insulation piece (I just have whatever they had at the quilt store, I think it’s Insul-Bright)
– Two 2″ x 8.25″ pieces of fabric for the cording channel
– Two 2″ x 5″ pieces of fabric for the tabs
– Two 1″ x 5″ pieces of interfacing for the tabs
– Two 16″ pieces of cording

– One 7.5″ x 9.5″ “Base,” if using directional fabric like I did cut two 7.5″ x 5″ pieces

Seam allowance is .25″ unless otherwise stated.

Continued after the break!

So I did my best to make this reversible, but really… I probably won’t reverse it and neither will my gramma. Take the piece of fabric you like better, or you think will be on the outside the most, and pin it all around to the insulation.

Sew all the way around the edges, you can just baste it. Make sure you’re stitching inside your .25″ seam allowance.
And while you’re at it, sew you’re two base pieces together.

Aw pretty.
Press your shiny new seam flat.

Then as long as you’re ironing, press a .25″ hem on both sides. I just sort of eyeball this, it’s not a strict .25″.

If you didn’t do a center seam, mark your center with some pins.

Mark the center of your insulated piece, I just stick a pin in both sides, I’m not sure you can really see that here.

From there lay your base piece over it, matching centers.

Pin that down, then stitch it down close o the edge. Non basting stitch here, ’cause you’ll see it!

Now fold that sucker in half, short sides to short sides, and stitch up your long sides.

Do the same to your liner piece.

Once those side seams are sewn, pinch the corners flat, measuring 1.5″ from the point:

Mark that with pins or a pen, I feel like it’s easy enough with pins, but then my line probably isn’t super straight.

Stitch across that corner, doing the same to the other corner and both corners of your liner.

Awesome, it’s a bag!
Snip off all four of those corner triangles approximately .25″ from the seam.

Now turn your attention to the tabs!
Iron a piece of 1×5″ piece of interfacing to the center of your tab fabric.

Nevermind how uneven mine is, I just used scrap interfacing 8D;;
Next iron that in half long wise, wrong sides together.
Once you have that center crease, iron your raw edges to it.

I had to hold it shut for the photo because since I didn’t have an exact cut piece of interfacing it didn’t want to stay whoops.
Now iron it in half again, so the raw edges are enclosed. Pin that up for stitching!

Man that ironing board cover is dirty….
As long as your ironing though!
Grab your liner and iron a .25″ hem in all around the opening.

And take your channel pieces and iron in a tiny rolled hem on the short sides.

Take your channel and tab pieces to the sewing machine!
Stitch the hem into the channel pieces, and stitch down both sides of your tab pieces.

Now fold your tabs in half and just pin them for now. Do the same with the channel pieces, pinning the long side.

Okay, take your insulated piece and flip it right side out.
Pin the tab pieces at the two side seams, and the channel pieces over that, with the openings at the side seams.

Stitch all the way around that opening, you may want to go over the tab bits a few times.
Press the channel/tabs up and drop your lining in.

Pin the lining in all the way around, matching the ironed edge to your stitching line, or just over it.

From the outside, top stitch just under the seam.

You should be able to see the pins well enough to take them out as you sew, but just in case, I sewed mine holding it like this:

Run your cording through the channels aaaaand, you’re done!

Here’s her holder with mine. Idk why it looks taller, it’s exactly the same size.
Anyway, after making mine I decided that I wasn’t sure how I liked the solid colour, so I added the base to my gramma’s.

 Fully lined! And hypothetically reversible.

The tabs are so you can hook a carabiner on (what I intend to do) or ad a removable strap (what I plan to make later for my gramma, but don’t have the hardware for right now).

Misc May

May is over! It was so busy ;_;
I still need to do another wedding dress post, so I’ll leave that out, but other than that I’m just going to photo dump pretty much XD

For Mother’s Day, I made Marmalade!

 WHAT A CHORE. 12 lemons freshly washed.

I followed this recipe. I’ve never done anything like this before, but my friend had made marmalade with my lemons and I really like it, so she sent me the recipe she used and I did my best!

Thankfully one of the random extra dishes my grandpa gave was this juicer. Thankfully because I hadn’t even bothered to check I had one before beginning.
I’m great at forethought.

Forever later, all juiced!
Then you have to scrape out all the insides and then slice the peels thinly.

 Then you blanch the peels three times. I really don’t know why.
Then you add back the juice and add a bunch of sugar and just… stir FOREVER. Until it sets. I didn’t even know what that meant so had to look it up.
But it didn’t set, and I got tired of waiting.

 My prepped jars. I didn’t end up filling them all though.

 Then you have to boil the jars. I didn’t read the instructions before hand, because who knows why, and so didn’t have a pot large enough. I could only do the three smaller ones, and then the two larger ones on their side.

They did actually set! Later. So I don’t know what I was doing wrong that I couldn’t tell? But it’s still delicious. Probably won’t do it again in a hurry though! The whole process took me 6 hours @.@

 So I actually made this in December, but when I made it I couldn’t find my snap press so gave it to my sister without taking pics. Then later I went and put the snaps in, and forgot to take completed pics. Then AJ mentioned maybe making a makeup bag so I took these pics for her.

 I really like this bag, my sister who’s huge into makeup says it’s great for a travel bag. So I may make one for myself.

These are terrible pictures I know, but this is the pattern I used, and bonus it’s free!

 I went to RuPaul’s DragCon in LA, it was super fabulous. But I really didn’t take many pictures, idk why D:

 These are some of RuPaul’s outfits, gorgeous.

 LOVE this dress.

 My friends on the pink carpet, they so fancy.

I didn’t dress up, I have nothing fabulous and couldn’t make up my mind in time to borrow something. Plus then I would have had to do my face aaaand, I’m just so lazy.

The signs were amazing. I should have taken a pic of all of them.
Ah well.
Moving on.

 I sorted all these blocks I got from the Northern CA Quilt Rush and then chose some to make my sister this shark pencil case she requested.

 Totally mis-measured and thought I’d only need 6 squares initially, whoops.

 All cut out!

 I didn’t read the instructions all the way before starting this (surprise! That’s become a trend with me lately, need to stop doing that…) because I figured how hard can a bag be. So I would have done some things differently.

 Like the seam in the middle there? Is to make the pouch round (and contain the upper fin), I wouldn’t have put one in the bottom, so the bottom could stay flat.

 Also it’s smaller than I thought it would be, too small to even fit my hand in, so I’d make it larger if I did it again.

But it still came out pretty cute! Oh and the zipper mouth was really hard and fiddly because of the smallness.

 Quick garden shot. The sweetpeas look SUPER cute with my roses. They took so long to come up I thought they weren’t going to, but then they exploded. Nice and fragrant 😀

Finally, aren’t my beets beautiful! 
Also delicious.

Sewalong Challenge #2 – Complete

So February’s challenge was to make a bag, but specifically from a pattern you haven’t used before. That was the challenging part for me XD I’m not that great at following directions.
As I mentioned in my inspiration post, I chose to do the “Dubstepper” messenger bag by Robert Kaufman.

All excited for my project, I took that picture on Feb 1st!
And that’s really as far as I got until March 7th. Just miscellaneous life things.

A’ight so, process and completed bag!

The black is leftover from my Scream of the Shalka Doctor costume, the grey is left over from the Captain Jack Harkness coat I made. Photobucket is being screwy, this isn’t as good a pic but maybe a better link.
The Tshirt is from San Diego Comic Con 2014, at the end of the Game of Thrones Experience they gave you a shirt. At the time I hadn’t watched any, just read it. So I didn’t know what I was getting anyway XD In hindsight I should have gotten a different size to give to my brother. The red lining is plain broadcloth from who knows what and is just because I thought that would be hilarious.

Close ups of the shirt!

 I didn’t know what this was supposed to be. Someone told me The Mountain? But then someone else told me it’s a generic Kings gaurd. Looks cool though.

And the back.
I ended up adding a panel to the top of the flap, because I wanted the Tshirt design to be only on the front. And I didn’t realize until I started putting it together that the piece would fall the way it was going to. And I skipped the handle there since I also skipped the magnetic snaps, and even if I’d put them I feel like they wouldn’t hold if you actually carried it by that handle. Also added piping, ’cause I love piping.
Grading the seams. This bag is SO THICK. I think the amount of interfacing and peltex on this is actually overkill. I definitely won’t be doing it this way again.

Also in putting it together I realized I forgot about the back of the shirt, so I put this for the back of the back, and swapped out the top with a black panel because my greys don’t match 100% (another reason for the piping to break things up.

So I started taking in prog pics, and then I realized I wasn’t really going to tutorial this, the pattern is pretty good at the step by step. This is one of the inside pockets.

Pre-ironing. Because it was so thick I wasn’t able to topstitch the top.
Oh and I added that outside pocket, to add black to that panel and balance it with the back.

This bit gave me some difficulties as well because of the thickness. The instructions say to put it on after the bag is half constructed, the reason for this is for the gusset you just cut it to the width of fabric and when you attach it trim off the ends. I really didn’t like that part of the pattern, it felt like a lot of waste, especially for the interfacing and peltex. And it meant you couldn’t put the strap tabs on while it was flat.
AND there’s a seam in that piece, so if you put it on the way they say, your center seam wouldn’t be centered. I don’t approve of that malarkey (so I didn’t do it that way).

See how stiff it is?
I should note, the pattern also called for peltex in the flap, way overkill. I used some quilting batting instead.

Red lining, appropriate to Game of Thrones I think 8D;;

Oh I also skipped interfacing the strap. If using a cotton I’d interface it, but this was an upholstery weight fabric (more reason for the thickness, but I still think I won’t use peltex and interfacing like this again).

Final pattern notes!
I found it incredibly helpful to number my pieces, which they don’t do. But who wants to write “exterior zipper pocket bottom” on the piece rather than “2”? Exactly.

Anyway, sending it off to my brother for his birthday, so he did get the shirt after all.
But if I’ve overestimated his like of Game of Thrones, to etsy! 8D;;;

Sewalong Challenge #2 Inspiration – A Bag (from a pattern you haven’t used before)

Ack, it’s February already!

I did finish challenge #1, I just don’t have any good pics at the moment, so that will come later.

The challenge for February is a bag, easy right? I LOVE making bags, they’re such great projects for making you feel accomplished.

But there’s one tiny stipulation on this challenge… it has to be from a bag pattern you’ve never used before.


Therein lies the challenge for me! While I love to make bags I’ve only ever used a pattern for that really cute lunch bag I made several times from this great tutorial. All my other myriad (slight exaggeration, but only slight) of totes and bags and purses I’ve just winged because… bags!

I have a pretty large board for bags here on pinterest, and another one for wallets and clutches which have been mainly for inspiration.

But with the intention of following some directions I mostly cut out the “Dubstepper” messenger bag by Robert Kaufman.
So I’m going to finish that (which also counts toward challenge #8, finishing a WIP!), hopefully.

That’s the Dubstepper, I think I’m going to modify the flap though…

I’m trying to find patterns that will work with fabrics I got to make bags, and then I’m going to try to just make as many bags as I can squeeze in for this month. Of course, that was also my intention last month, to make several accessories, but I only got one done so we’ll see! I quite like this bag:


And a friend asked me for an overnight/weekend bag. So maybe?
It’s a free pattern from Noodle Head so bonus on the not spending money!

I actually have a lot of ideas already, so it’s more challenging to find a pattern that meshes with my vision!

Hopefully progress posts soon.

Even More Bags!

Actually, it’s not really more bags, these are both older but I forgot to post them!


So here’s the 2nd lunch bag I made, that I talked about when posting the 3rd lunch bag.

As well as that Batman Tote I mentioned a bit ago…

Let’s do Batman first, because, Batman!


This was made out of a comic con bag from 2011 this one if you want to see it pre-cut up. I used the logo portion of this bag earlier, on a messenger bag for my brother.


Everytime I take pictures Pippin gets all curious, but she doesn’t stay curious long enough for me to take something cute XD


This might be my favourite feature (which horrified my little brother, but what does he know). I got that pin as a freebie at Wonder Con this year.


See? So blurry cat why don’t you sit still D:
Anyway, the back. It’s fairly uninteresting, but does say Arkham Asylum, so that’s something.
I took a pic of the inside, which has pockets and such, but I forgot to clip threads so you’ll just have to imagine 8D;;
Hurrah for using up more scrap though! The sides and handles are a heavy canvas twill leftover from my TVM Master costume, I can’t remember what the grey (which is on the inside, so you can’t see it anyway) is from, but something quite old I’m sure.


Anyway, so this is the 2nd lunch bag I did. I’m only including this pic because my sock is awesome.


This is the inside comparison, I took a pic since I rambled on about it so much last time. Anyway I made these two in the same way, but decided I like how the cover looks tacked down (for all those times you stare directly down at your bag…) so for the purple one I did the stitching over the cover instead of under.


See? Under the cover.


And that yellow stitching corresponds with this yellow stitching.


Soooo, three bags later (I gave this one to my gramma), I think that the rim pieces should maybe be interfaced on the lining pieces too, and I need to set my handles in a little more because I don’t like the way they flop a bit (… for all the times it’s just sitting there being looked at…).

I have a small pile of tutorials and patterns to try, so there will be some variation soon 8D But I do have two more of this style in mind, as I have been reliably informed a friend loves owls, and I have enough of the owl fabric left, and I recently got a lovely bunch of purple themed quilt scraps for a purple loving friend.

I’m really trying to make at least SOMETHING every week, so hopefully I’ll remember to take pics as well 8D

Another scrap bag, with bonus quilt

I’m really trying to use up scraps… and just make STUFF. Like I’m at that point where I don’t even care, I just want to use up fabric (but not quite at the stage where I want to actually purge the fabric XD). So, bags. That’s what’s been happening.

Though! My latest costume, Black Canary, was all scrap! I feel a little accomplished for that.


I made a bag in between the owl one I posted earlier and this one, from the same really cute tutorial. I was going to post that bag now, but I didn’t take very good pictures so I’ll need to take some more.

The one step I wasn’t keen on for that lunch bag tutorial is that in order to catch all the seam allowance and create an enclosed seam the top stitching is wider below the brim than it is above it. So for the second bag I left a gap and did the whole flipping it inside out thing, and then top stitched… this will make more sense when I post those pics. Well for the 3rd one I decided to do that again, only this time to also catch the cover in the topstitch, because I like that look better (for all the time anyone spends looking at the inside…).

Yeah okay, that wasn’t explained that well, for my next bag I’ll take pic of the process.


This bag was made for my sister using scraps leftover from a quilt my gramma made her.

Quilt and bag~!


So the theme of this quilt was butterflies!


My sister and I both really like butterflies, so my gramma is always giving her butterfly things and sometimes I take them >.>
I didn’t take the quilt though XD Just saying.


Anyway, this is a quilt my gramma sent out to be quilted, because she wanted this pattern.


These are shots from the back, so it’s a bit more obvious.


These are the scraps I chose to use for the main body.


None of the pieces were big enough for the cover, so I supplemented these two from my scrap stash. The far right is actually from a quilt for E that my gramma’s working on now (note the butterflies in the black part XD).


None of the pieces were quite big enough, so I pieced the body.


So this is the body of the bag, before you sew up the sides and put the corners in.

I must have miscut something ‘cause everything lined up perfectly except one -_-

And that’s the last progress pic I took.


Finished bag!


If I do another pieced version, I’m going to try to reproportion the width of the strips so it aligns with the corners. Hindsight.


This is what I meant about the inside, having the cover stitched down a bit looks cleaner I think. I used a dark purple thread for all of this, but on the lighter fabrics it looks black ;_;


The inside! I had to piece that as well, but I used all the same fabric.


And then Pippin got curious XD She was too curious though and kept moving :/


… she’s actually in the end of a yawn here, but I like it ‘cause it’s the killer cat face.


Oh this is the outside of that same topstitching.


Matchy matchy!

Sometimes I think I post too many pictures at once, what do you think? Break it down some?

More bags!

I have a few half written posts that are waiting for me to upload pics 8D

I’ll get to those shortly! I had a really chill weekend so I puttered with some sewing. AJ put me onto this really cute bag tutorial, and when she made it, it turned out adorable so I thought I’d try my hand! These are the fabrics I used:

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And done!

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It took… 3 hours? From cut to finish, while playing Kings of Tokyo and watching the two hour Once Upon a Time finale (so, sewing during commercials).

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The inside, which you can’t really see, is the owl fabric on the far right from the fabric shot. It’s a vinyl fabric so anything potentially messy can just be wiped off…. it seemed like a good idea but I’ll probably be using this like a purse so, ultimately not actually very useful… 

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I had NO idea what I wanted to use on the handles, so these are just “I think they go with it…? Maybe…?” fabrics.

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The drawstring top is actually an off-white with a white printed pattern, but since I finished this at 10:00pm the lighting was eeeeh and it’s hard to see.

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The top owl print was a remnant given to me by my friend Lydia, and the bottom was a remnant I’d picked up on one of those 50% off sales at Joann probably several years ago! 

I think it turned out cute! 

Earlier in the day/weekend I’d worked on my Regency petticoat, not pictured because I didn’t get very far, and made a tote out of a Comic Con Bag. They had a Hobbit one from 2012, I didn’t go that year but my friend Heather sent me her bag 😀

I should have taken a pic before I started, but actually I cut it out like… a year ago, and I didn’t do a very good job at that :/ I had decided to use a commercial tote pattern, where usually I just wing it, and didn’t realize that this pattern was one where the front and back meet in the center of the base, rather than having a separate base piece. 

Anyway, so I had to recut some pieces, and as such it’s not how I would have done it normally… if I’d just engaged my brain/bothered to read the pattern to begin with. 

So like this side panel, it’s not centered ;_;

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And I ended up piecing one side because I wanted to use as much as possible from the original bag:

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I used bits and pieces as pockets.
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The important thing was retaining this image of course!

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Aw man, I just remembered the awesome Batman tote I made a few weeks ago that I didn’t take pics of.

Coming soon then!

Christmas 2013 in crafts! (part two)

Some more things from Christmas!

So my sister really liked the camera case I made myself in September, so I got out those same fabric scraps and some lace and made one for her camera.

Camera case & kitty bag!

I had seen this type of design when I’d searched something like… “Camera case diy,” probably on pinterest, for ideas on my own camera case.

It’s a super basic design, long skinny piece for back and flap, short wide piece for front, darts for corners, and then slap it together with binding.

I used fleece as the batting, and lined it in flannel.

Then I had to get another gift covered so I browsed my pinterest (my addiction 8D;;) for something cute and decided I like this bunny bag. After I saw how it’s just a rounded rectangle sewn up the sides, I didn’t look at the tutorial though. Which… probably caused some issues (like I’m not particularly fond of how the base came out).

Anyway, got more scrap.

I knew she would like a cat waaay better, and wasted a lot of time looking for some scrap I might have that would be black on black, for Pippin, but ended up with just plain black cotton.

Anyway, basic piecing, semi quilted onto some batting.

I think the tail is my favourite bit.

The face is just stitching with embroidery thread.

I didn’t like the way they just slapped binding over the seams, far too bulky, so this is fully lined with pockets. ‘Cause, pockets are awesome.

I made one other thing, but I can’t seem to find pictures at the moment, so perhaps in the future they’ll be a part three.

Update of bags!

As always, so behind on things. I keep posting things long past. Which I will continue to do, until I’m caught up, but still. I thought something a bit more recent would be nice 😀

Anyway, I made this last month.

I really needed a camera case! And I’d been meaning to make once since the protector sticker thing I had on the screen randomly SLID OFF in my bag one day in Japan and the screen got scratched. That was well over two years ago. So yeah, long over due.

Progress & detail pics to follow!

So uh, this is what I was using before….

… it’s a sock. The fuzzy slipper kind 8D

So I went through and chose smaller quilting scraps that coordinated. This is actually left over from the clothe napkins I did for the tea party. I really like the look of the white print on off white 😀

The polka dot stuff is fleece, which I lined the bag in.

All my pieces!

I think… that I had wanted to do a tutorial on this.

… Because I took a lot of detail shots.

Like this. And SO many more.

But I ended up not, because my camera is very bulky and most people have itty bitty cameras.

Also I wasn’t 100% happy with the flap, you can see in the first picture that the top gaps a bit (I’m holding the strap so it’s gapping more than usual there, but still, it was enough to annoy me).

Anyway, finished product!

People give me their button jars all the time in a “Oh you sew!” way, so I had lots of really random buttons to choose from 😀 That was nice. Not totally pleased w/ my hand stitching on the leaves though.

A few months ago I made this small bag, as a trash bag in my car:

It was hard to capture the colour, but this thing is NEON.

So it contrasts nicely with my camera bag XD