More and More Bags

Spring is in the air, and the inexplicable sunshine in Seattle has had me so joyful it’s wonderful. Or maybe it’s the Starbucks gift card I was given and all those soy chai’s spiking my caffeine levels…

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A little show and tell. I have long been savouring this quilting fabric line. Bridges and water, I grew up on a Harbor. Grays Harbor. It’s not a magical place, in fact it’s probably defined as impoverished and polluted, but it was home. I love the water, the tug boats, the bridges, the vanilla smell from the factory then the pulp smell of wood… cherry blossoms lined certain streets too. They said it was from train workers a hundred years ago that planted them there. The blossoms would fall so thick it was like snow under your feet.

So I made a quick little bag or two, just to test my quilting skills. A draw string bag has so many uses!

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The SF101 has such a lovely quality for fused interfacing, especially from Pellon. Only buy it when on sale, and you can get a yard for a dollar or so! It works for clothing waistbands just as well as bags. Someday I should just buy the bolt.

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I made a tall tote bag, excellent for knitting needle projects, for a friend who is moving away. I am already sad to see her go, and she hasn’t even left yet. It isn’t really meant for carrying on the shoulder, just a bag for your half finished knitted hats or scarves or whatever you crafty knitters do make. I hope she likes it! She is also from my hometown, and will understand the connection to the fabric pattern I think.

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The “inside of the bag” shot is impossible to take. When someone figures this out I hope they tell the rest of us bag makers! You want to share your perfect lining, but you just can’t share it in photos. You should all just come visit me and admire it.

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Ok. This has been a fun adventure into bag making for a couple weeks!

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But my giant pile of patterns calls to me! I don’t know what to do first! Another Lady Skater for a fun dress or maybe try the Lola sweater dress or maybe the Espresso leggings AND a Lady Skater? My Archer is giving me the eye but I keep bashfully looking the other way…

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Labels

A few years ago my husband designed a logo for me, so that I could make labels for the bags I had every intention of making into a business. Then, I realized, I don’t want to be a business owner! It doesn’t suit my personality nor career dreams. Sewing is my relaxing fun time, not my focus and making money times. I think it takes an entrepreneur spirit, and an emotional balance to create for others that I lack. However, I got a fabulous logo and used Spoonflower to get a yard of labels in a variety of colors and sized. My baby lock stitch #12 is an adorable appliqué stitch and works perfectly.

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In my recent sewing studio re-org, I found the scraps of labels and decided to put them to use! I fused the double sided paper backed interfacing to the entire yard, and then cut them all up so I could just grab a label whenever I wanted one. Part of the fabric faded horribly, as some others have also experienced with Spoonflower, and some did not. But, I love them, and plan to use them on clothing whenever possible too.

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The labels even adhered well to some wood tags!

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I have been focusing on making clothing for so long, I found the excuse of Valentine’s Day to create some simple but sweet bags. I have made so many I don’t even bother with patterns anymore. The imported zipper below is just darling! I love how I lined up the zig zags.

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The below bag I sent to my dear friend. The flower and snowflake fabric seemed perfect for February!

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I always try to decorate the inside too!

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Gratuitous perfect zipper installation shot.

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This little coin purse IS a tutorial by the lovely and talented Dog Under My Desk patterns. My mother was very appreciative as she had just asked for a coin purse and this should do nicely. It is a little thick, however. Maybe next time I will just use a sew in Pellon 50 or something thinner than whatever fleece scrap I used as batting.

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I made this one backwards, probably because I got all cocky about how awesome of a sewist I am that I don’t need patterns or tutorials. And of course, soon as you brag you mess up. Kismet! Karma! Whatever… maybe I will find a lefty who needs a nice coin purse.

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When you stray from your normal sewing, what is it that brings you back to center? Or do you ever stray? There seems to be a division between “garment sewing” and “quilting” and a whole new modern collection of sewists who sew everything in between. What do you tell people? When I say I make clothes, I feel like I am leaving out all the other fun things I enjoy making like tree skirts, toys, bags and the like. However I can’t ignore that I love sewing knits more than anything else in the world. What do you label to tell people when they ask what you make? I would love to hear your thoughts!

My Studio

Where do you get to create? I know depending on your craft, you may need little or no space at all. This is just not true with sewing. With sewing clothes in particular, it seems you need a gigantic space that is permanently dedicated to sewing. Some quilters or crafters may need less space, especially if you stitch by hand regularly, or maybe you just sew things like bags and don’t need a work table. The more I sew, the more I realized I needed space. My roommate and partner and husband has always been generous, ensuring I have space for sewing. In the three homes we have shared together, I have been fortunate to get the spare second bedroom to turn into a sewing studio. When we had our wonderful son, we moved into a three bedroom for a few reasons, but one was so that I could have a space to sew. Last July we moved again, into a smaller house with only two bedrooms. This means my husband and I co-sleep with a giant 3 year old who is as tall as he is heavy, who also sleeps sideways. We make sacrifices for the things we love, and my son and husband are very generous to give me the space I need to sew, and hide, and breathe, and create.

We struggle with finances, as many do, and I was recently gifted two amazing things to improve my studio! One giant table from a stranger and one dressform from a dear friend who moved to California. These items meant I got to rearrange my space, and create a move functionable workroom. I am ridiculously excited and wish I had someone local to come look at it and just “ooohhh” and ” awe” at it with me over roiboos tea and scones.

Here is a virtual tour, enjoy!

Here is my new table, which can hold all my machines! Babylock lover for sure! And my new dressform! YAY! (The fabric banner says ” A Room of One’s Own.”)

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My awesome thread rack and Nikki McClure prints from my sister.

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My vintage telephone table. The honest part is that I covered the leopard print seat with my projects that I have to do before I get to “rest” – lucky for me it’s mostly hems, buttons, and a few fix it jobs for friends!

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My cutting table, formally my only work table. Which doesn’t even hold a shirt unless it was folded in half. This will now be primarily a cutting space! No more ironing on my cutting mat!

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This is my semi-organized stash. The white wooden box my father made me when I was so young, I must have been under 4 years old. The green heart box is from my grandfather. The nest and bird track hoop is from my niece, and the bird on a branch from a dear friend. I do like knickknacks, but I like them to have meaning.

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The best part is my old machine table is now a real work space! I couldn’t be more excited about this! I can walk easily around it, and it’s about 5 feet long so it will hold a whole shirt, or pants even! No more working in parts, no more working on the floor! I anticipate much happiness when I tape together my next pdf pattern, or when I trace more ottobre patterns! It’s not this dark, but with my windows being so full of daylight it was hard to photograph.

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This intimidating pile is the patterns I want to sew (or sew again) this year. OMG. So huge! The pile of fabric behind it are muslin’s to be completed, or RTW clothes to trace patterns. I should probably add those to my “do not rest until these are done” pile on my chair above.

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And last but not least, Boba Fett always has my back.

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Well, thank you for looking. It’s nice to be able to share with my online friends! I know you guys appreciate a clean, organized space for your crafting!

PS: if you want to see my old room you can look here at my sewing goals: old sewing studio