Wednesday, September 29, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Twenty

Well, I am two-thirds done and to celebrate this momentous occasion, I think I have created my favorite bag so far. I knew that I would end up with at least one Mario-themed bag since the whole geek crafting thing is just so much fun and colorful. I created a simpler messenger bag pattern than the one I used for Bag Three and so instead of fiddling all day with zippers and such, I spent my time appliqueing the flap. I give you the Fire Flower Messenger Bag...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Eighteen and Nineteen

For Day Eighteen I decided to have another go at a purse frame. After much hair pulling, I have decided that I will stick with zippers, buttons and velcro. It just takes so much work and concentration and I am not totally thrilled with the outcome. But anyway...

Both Bag Eighteen and Nineteen are made out of this awesome fabric that my husband picked out for me when I dragged him to the Fabric Depot in Portland (which was a big disappointment after wanting to go there for years and years). I haven't wanted to cut into the fabric because it is so gorgeous, but all fabric must be cut up eventually. For Bag Nineteen, I modified my Market Bag pattern a bit and had another go at it. I think I will try filling both bags up and see which one I like better or if the best is somewhere in between.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Sixteen and Seventeen

I have been super happy with my Day One gathered clutch. I have been using it as my main wallet/purse. So for Day Sixteen, I decided to try my hand at another clutch. It has a zipper and a snappy flap. I am calling it the Envelope Clutch. I am pretty happy with it (except next time I will make the flap a bit bigger) and it definitely has given me some more ideas for other clutches.

As soon as I saw this brown and green plaid fabric, I knew that it would make a nice business bag. So for Day Seventeen, I whipped up this smart tote. As with all new patterns, there are a few things I will change next time, but overall, I am pretty happy with how it came out. The one thing I am having a hard time with is how heavy the handles on this bag (and the beach bag) are. The handles sort of sag the bag down and make it harder to sit the bag up when not being held. Any suggestions?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Fourteen and Fifteen

I am finally caught up with the bags and blogs (I even have a bag made and ready to post for tomorrow). Also, I have made it halfway through the challenge (so yippee for me!).

For Bag Fourteen, I decided to work on a pattern for one of my favorite bags, an everyday purse/market tote. I have made a few of them, but since I just draw my pattern onto the fabric, each bag comes out a little differently. I decided I would like a pattern so I wouldn't have to go through the drawing, trimming, and adding every time. Of course the pattern I created was a bit shorter and wider than I would have liked, but I will just fiddle with it a bit for the next one. One of the reasons I really like this bag is that it is big enough to hold some groceries but it doesn't look out of place if I carry it as a purse. Also, the bags folds up small enough to fit in my jacket pocket.

The modification for this bag that I am super excited about is this double hook thingy for the button. You can choose which position to button depending on how much stuff you are carrying.

The bag for Day Fifteen was inspired by this sweet fabric I found a remnant of at the fabric store. As soon as I saw the print, I could tell that it was going to be a beach bag with plastic or wood handles.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Twelve and Thirteen

I think one of the reasons I have fallen behind is that while I can easily sew a bag a day, designing a bag takes a little more time and now that I have moved past using patterns, it is taking a little longer. Bag Twelve is a small patchwork sack that folds over and ties on top. It took much longer to decide what type of bag closure I wanted than it did to sew it up.

Since I am falling so far behind, Bag Thirteen is a simple zippered pouch. It is bigger than my pouches normally are (finished dimensions are about 9"x9"). The fabric is awesome, and I think I will send it off to a friend just in time for the Halloween season (my friend definitely thinks that Halloween is a season).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Nine, Ten and Eleven

I have fallen a bag behind in sewing and many bags behind in blogging about it. But once again since it is my challenge, I get to make up the rules and I say that I am right on time. For Bags Nine and Ten, I made small coin purses.

Bag Nine is loosely based on the Laundry Day Clutch from and was my first attempt at using a purse frame. The frame is scuffed up a little from bending it without wrapping my pliers in fabric (I figured that out quickly though and took a picture so you can't see it) but other than that, I am quite pleased with the bag.

Bag Ten is based on this tutorial. As if installing a zipper on a curve wasn't difficult enough, I used a zipper that has been folded up in the bottom of my sewing box for years and I couldn't ever get the bumps out of the zipper, so I am not too pleased with the way this turned out. I think I might use this type of pattern (where you fully line the fabric before sewing the sides up) with a purse frame next time.

Finally, Bag Eleven is a cute little patchwork number. I started with this tutorial from Kristin La Flamme, but sewed the bag together without reading through the rest of the pattern (it was late and I was pretty tired), so instead of having half-patchwork on either side, one side is patched and one side is plain. I really like it anyway and I think I will definitely do more patchwork for the other bags since it is so cute and reminds me of a Holly Hobby purse I had as a child.

Friday, September 17, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Eight

For Day Eight, I made the Phoebe bag from artsy-crafty babe. Like the cowboy duffel from Day Six, the fabric I chose has been languishing in a pile because of its large pattern, so again I chose a bag that had bigger pieces. The bag is big enough to hold just about anything but because of the soft curves, I don't think that it will look like a huge bag once it is full.

My trusty old iron has been on the fritz lately, and I was hoping to get a new one as a holiday gift. It just hasn't been getting as hot lately and the steam buttons are stuck and no longer working. It turns out I couldn't wait because a few days ago, it started leaking water real bad (every time I picked it up, there was a huge wet spot on the ironing board). Besides the fact that I don't really want everything I iron to be soaking wet, it was also a huge pain to keep filling up the water. So anyway, I purchased a new iron yesterday, and because of a faulty design, it also leaks. I am returning it immediately and I guess I will be sticking with the old spray bottle and dry iron until I can afford a nicer iron that doesn't spill water everywhere.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Seven

So I made a wallet from this tutorial. While I was making the wallet, it called for bias tape around the edge. I was kind of surprised that I didn't have any at all anywhere in my stash, so I purchased some. Once I got to the part where I was to apply the bias tape, it suddenly dawned on me why I didn't have any. I hate the stuff. I can never get it to lie flat and it gets all wonky and out of sorts. I finished the wallet, but cannot bring myself to send a picture of this horribly crafted monstrosity out into the ether. So instead, here is a not so great picture of my cat guarding an orange (she is so cute in real life, but she is definitely not photogenic as all the pictures I have of her turn out a little bit wonky like bias tape).

I will probably give this wallet another go since I loved the fabrics I chose and I think the wallet could be really nice. Next time I will make the whole thing a bit bigger and just use a sew wrong sides together and turn technique for the finishing instead of bias tape. I made add a bit of trim though because one of the things I liked the best about this wallet was the contrasting bias tape around the edge.

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Six

For Day Six, I chose this mini-duffle pattern that was posted on craftster. I bought a yard of this awesome half-naked cowboy print mostly because my husband was at the fabric store with me and it seemed like a good way to embarrass him. It's such a big print that it has just been sitting in my stash waiting for a project with a few big pieces. Anyways, this mini-duffle pattern seemed like just the thing. I am super happy with how the bag shows off the fabric.

This second picture shows off the fabric a little better.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Days Four and Five

I kind of figured that taking pictures, uploading said pictures and updating my blog would be the part of this project that I had the hardest time with. And I was right. I totally forgot to update with Bag Four yesterday (but I didn't forget to make a bag). Of course this works out well since Bag Four and Bag Five are actually the same bag pattern but with different fabric and a few modifications.

My older sister just had a baby and I needed to make her something, so I am putting together some blankets and burp cloths. I found this Lucille Picnic Bag-sket on sewtakeahike and I thought not only would it be a good way to present the blankets and cloths, but also a pretty useful bag to have around for throwing toys, diapers, clothes and other baby stuff in. So on Day Four, I made a sample to be sure of size and functionality.  I really like the bright colors and the Hawaiian Print. I think it would make a perfect beach bag for a towel, book and a bottle of water. 

I decided that the size was right, but that the bag for my sister needed a little more body so for the second bag, I interfaced the whole thing (I used sew in interfacing and it works out so much better that fusible. I think I am done with fussing around trying to get all the bubbles out with fusible). The bag is reversible with a floral pattern on one side and a check pattern on the other.

These bags remind me of a firewood carrying bag where the bag doesn't really take shape until after you put stuff in it and pick it up (you can see this a little better in the second picture). Anyway, both bags turned out really well and I am excited to fill the second one up with goodies. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Three

For Day Three, I chose to make a messenger bag. It is based loosely on an online pattern I found, but the pattern and accompanying tutorial was so riddled with problems that I no longer consider this bag to be from the pattern and will therefore not link to the tutorial. The tutorial gave wrong measurements, the instructions were confusing and worst of all, the person who posted the pattern used a picture from a bag that is for sale in retail stores and rather different from the pattern (I can't imagine that the poster even made a sample from the pattern). I don't mind a few mistakes in a pattern especially if you put it online free for use, but it bugs me that this person used a commercial image and from the looks of it guessed how the pattern should go.

The colors in the picture are a bit off, the bag is made out of dark green denim which I chose hoping for a eco-chic look. Unfortunately, it turned out a bit more army surplus than I wanted so I painted some purplish brown diamonds on the front. 

For this year's Banchero Auction Bags (last year's are here), my husband and I are thinking about messenger bags. So I guess this was a bit of a test run. Of course, this bag was a pain to put together and there are just so many pieces, that I may chose something a bit simpler for the auction.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day Two

Bag Two is the Diana Hobo from think liz. I've looked at this pattern a few times and I have always been drawn to the simplicity of the design mixed with the gathering.

When I was picking out the first ten bags for my challenge, I was trying to choose ten bags with different design elements to both inspire me in my own creations and to challenge myself to try different styles. So, I thought I did a pretty good job of selecting a variety of bags, but it turns out that I am really interested in gathered bags right now as the first two bags I made both use gathering as the main design feature.

For this bag, I used a moire fabric (the fabric has a water pattern on it) in watermelony colors that I found at the second-hand shop a while ago. I was going to do the whole bag with the stripes vertically, but I obviously couldn't wrap my head around that one because although I thought that was how I was cutting the fabric, somehow the fabric turned under my scissors (or something like that). Regardless, I like how it turned out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

30 Bags in 30 Days - Day One

I have been in a bit of a creativity slump lately. I just haven't much felt like making anything lately. So anyway, I figured that if I forced myself to just start sewing, I might break through this block. I have decided to issue myself a challenge to sew 30 bags in 30 days. So by October 9th, I should have a wide selection of emergency gifts (or 30 new bags for myself, but I'm guessing that I will have to get rid of a few since my bag collection is already out of control!). I have selected ten bag tutorials online that I will start with and then hopefully I will feel like creating a few (or rather 20) of my own design.

I started with the Gathered Clutch from Noodlehead's blog. Although it kind of feels like cheating, I started this bag on Day minus 1 and finished it on the first day. I also haven't decided whether or not I should be allowed to make two bags in one day and none on another day since the idea is to make something every day and if I am running short on time, I can always make a small pouch. But since it is my own challenge, I guess I can make up the rules and then change them along the way if I feel like it.

I really like the contrast of fabrics on this one, the lining is a dark maroon/brown with small pockets made out of the blue. I didn't take a picture of the back (I think one picture of each bag will have to do), so it is hard to see the main fabric, but it is an asian-inspired flower and bird print in bright spring-y colors.  The bag came together fairly quick, and although I didn't think I was going to keep it, I used it yesterday and it is perfect for carrying around my phone and a few other odds and ends.