Saturday Sewing

first sewing weekend part one

Yesterday I made a pretty good bag. This isn't a tutorial, but I'll share some aspects of how I made it and how it turned out. Eventually, I will be superior at interfacing and corners, then I can improve with visual details, as well.

I put together fourteen squares of Moda Modern Background Paper Newsprint, and then cut fabric from a larger piece to match. 

Charmsquares

Charmtee

Then I sewed them each into a bag. The other print has interfacing ironed onto it.  Charmlayer

I put the inside out newsprint bag into the other one, and sewed them together. This is where you can insert a tab for a button closure, or fasteners or hooks for a detachable strap, or the ends of straps themselves. You leave an opening at the top to invert the bags so they are now reversible, then sew across the top to close them.

Charmside

I inserted my button loop while sewing the bags together, and then sewed a decorative stitch around the top, but inserted the little hooks for a strap (a thrift store necklace) afterwards. Also, I hand sewed trim to the outsides of the bags, and that should have been done first, however, it was kind of an afterthought.

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And so here's how it looks all finished.

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Saturday Sewing: 80s playlist reversible apron

I bet you could nail my age down to the second.

Anyway. Yesterday I started making an 80s playlist for my iPod (two clues there; who else works so hard to own what they listen to?) and I've got 125 songs so far. It isn't meant to be definitive, guy who uses two question marks about the lack of songs I never heard of, just a reflection of what I was into at the time and still like. It's a little over 9 hours long and I plan to listen to it all today on Shuffle, then muse over some of it.

This morning I listened to these songs while making a reversible apron:

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That's two hours, six minutes, and I have no idea whether that's slow or very, very slow, but I also don't care. I'm way over being in a hurry about anything. (So these are clues three and four.)

I have this apron I like the shape of, but wanted my new one to be a bit different. Since I used regular ol' cotton, I decided to cut two pieces and make it reversible, to give it a little weight. I didn't want to bother with binding, so I just sewed the two pieces together with right sides facing, like a pillow, and left openings for straps.

But first I cut and attached pieces for the empire waist, as I wanted it to look a bit like an A-line party dress.

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I never use the pockets on that apron. I have a big heavy one with pockets I use for painting, but for cooking, it never seems necessary.

Then I made the waist straps. As I was using an old sheet for the waist and straps, I realized I could use the top sewn edge of the sheet for the waist straps and save myself a lot of work. I just cut that whole top section off, cut it in half, and inserted the cut edge into the side openings of the apron pieces.

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Then I cut pieces for the top straps, but instead of just folding them and sewing them like binding, I put two pieces face together, sewed the ends, flipped it inside out, and sewed down the sides.

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I've been thinking I'd like to do that for some of the bags I make, so it seemed a convenient time to try it out. Then I sewed the straps to the top openings of the apron.

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I figure I'll use the light side for baking time and the darker print side for sauteeing time. I used contrasting thread for the waist and top straps as a sort of easy decorative touch. But if I were making a real dress, I'd choose subtlety, instead. And here are final obvious age clues...

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Saturday Sewing Project: new bedside bag

Sound like an odd thing to have or use? I started making these little bags by hand awhile back during a bout with bronchitis or something. The one I hung on my bedpost held remote controls and a flashlight, but I decided it needed to be replaced with an upgrade. I wanted to work on attaching straps with a liner or reversible side today, so that's what I did.

First, here are some other bags I've made this summer. DSC_3715
The ones on either end are made from thrift store skirts that I just shortened and squared off. The extra fabric has been used for quilt piecing. The bag on the left still has the button and zipper on the other side, and the one on the right has a drawstring I made work by cutting the existing one in two pieces and attaching them together. Second from left is a bag I plan to use for used book shopping. Next, a gift bag made from one fat quarter, but I might add a liner. The next two are made from instructions for reuseable produce bags, also each from a fat quarter. I like the tab closure, but might make more that are a little wider and a little shorter.

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I had a look at the fabric and future contents to see how big to make the new bag. I decided to start ten and a half inches high, and cut the fabric while it was folded in half.

DSC_3720The fold is at the bottom for strength. I pressed it inside out and folded the top down twice, then sewed along each side.

DSC_3721Then I measured eight inches down from the top and drew a line to sew the corners, and then trimmed them.

DSC_3722These are called box corners. They give the bag a bottom, allowing it to stand square. More or less. If you can't see how it's folded, and would like more details, you can ask me or look for a tutorial.

DSC_3719So I made one of each piece of fabric, then remembered I'd intended to include pockets! While thinking that over, I made the strap.

DSC_3724The strap is cut from a quarter folded piece of fabric so when it was opened it was about 2 3/4 by 21 inches.

DSC_3726A couple of photos are missing. My phone camera app is being a bit tiresome. I folded in the sides toward the center, then folded it in half, and pressed it closed.

DSC_3728Then sewed a scant 1/4 seam down each side. It looks better than with just one.

And then I made pockets. I cut two squares the same size, but attached one horizontally and one vertically, for reasons.  DSC_3730


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I decided to hand sew them on since the sides were already stitched, and I used big fat straight stitches so it would look crafty. In another photo.

DSC_3723Here I've tested out how the bags fit together before attaching the strap. I attached the strap at the sides, then sewed on the pockets, and then went all the way around the folds at the top to finish the bags together. Awhile back, I made the neatest charm square reversible purse, but the instructions for attaching the straps had me addled, and I couldn't figure out how to not have them sewn inside the bag. Doing it this simpler way was a relief.

DSC_3734The pockets face each other so my hand can go right where it wants to. The inside pocket is for pens, the outside one for the tiny soundbar remote.

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Saturday Sewing Project

Each Saturday since I got my sewing machine in June, I have watched some sewing shows on ThinkTV, then I work on improving some particular machine skill. I've made a few different kinds of bags, some patterned quilt squares, coasters, and this weekend I made this—thing for my table. Without the leaf it's round, so I didn't want a table runner. DSC_3669
I put together pieces from two fat quarters, two pairs of shorts and a sheet from St. Vincent de Paul, and a remnant from a previous project, without strict measurement. I just made sure everything was around three inches wide when I began. Then I sewed it to a piece of muslin, added a layer of batting and quilted it to more sheet, which I then folded over to the front for a border.

The quilted areas are not as good as I'd like but using the zigzag was kind of a risk. I feel good about how I did the border.

This looks kind of disconnected and bleak! I'll pay attention next time and set a scene. Anyway. Sometimes I have a vase or a bowl of garden produce or fruit on the table, and it can sit on the mat now. DSC_3668