I've decided it's time to try my hand at this blogging phenomenon, as I keep meaning to share my quilting progress with friends and family and just never seem to get around to it. Ben created a nice web page for me a while back so that I could post pictures of my quilts and I was terrible about maintaining that - I'd rather be quilting I say - so I can't promise that I'll be good at posting, but I'm going to give it the good old college try.
While I plan to use this to mostly write about my quilting, my first post actually has to do with some non-quilting sewing that I've been doing. Today, my department held our annual holiday party for our students, which consists of ordering pizza or subs and then having professional staff bring in other food items to make a meal out of it. In the past, I'd given my students gift cards to Starbucks, but seeing as I have three lovely and talented ladies working for me this year, I decided to make them something a little special: purses! (This was partially an excuse to buy some of the great purse patterns out there on the market and also to buy more fabric...)
I put in a few late nights, and I did get them done on time! Yay! And they turned out quite nice. The first purse, pictured here, was made for Grete and is based on the Indygo Junction pattern The Samantha. I used fabrics from Erin Michael's Up Town line. This really was a simple purse and went together quickly. I used a fusible fleece as the lining and it had a nice hand, but in the future, I think I would modify this pattern so that there were some quilting or something to provide a bit more texture to the unit. I also wished that there were a way to keep the side units from being somewhat visible on the front. Don't know if that was my ironing job, or what. Got to play with magnetic snaps for the first time ever and think I might have benefited from this tool my mother has for cutting the slit in machine-made button holes for garments. But I made do with a pair of scissors!
The second purse was made for Becky and is also an Indygo Junction pattern. It's called The Metropolitan and I selected the Chez Moi line from Sentimental Studios. This was a fun purse to make also went together pretty quickly. It is lined with muslin per the instructions, which probably is enough, given its style and size, and the top portion is lined with Timtex (which worked wonderfully for that part). I wasn't terribly happy with my sewing job on the trim that I added, but I couldn't come up with any way better than I did. There must be some tool or technique out there that I don't know about and hope to learn about some day.
I have to admit that I wasn't terribly impressed with the Indygo Junction patterns. If you haven't made too many purses or done much sewing, the instructions may not be enough. There are zero illustrations, so you have to have a fairly decent idea of what you are doing from the get go, and I made one misinterpretation in making the Metropolitan that would have resulted in an exposed seam. Fortunately, I was able to save it without too much unsewing!
I had a difficult time giving away the third bag because I wanted to keep it for myself. This is definitely a pattern that I will make again! It's a Lazy Girl Designs pattern called Miranda Day Bag. The pattern was wonderful and provided photos to accompany nearly all steps in the process and there was never any question as to whether I was doing the step in the correct manner. This purse was made for Johanna and again uses Erin Michael's Up Town line. The side panels were machine quilted (by me), and this was the first time I applied fashion handles to a purse (it's way easier than I expected). The lining is some leftover Hobbs 80/20, I think, and that seemed to work nicely. I also used a fusible Velcro on the tab, so hopefully that'll hold up. I'm still hoping that I can find a source for the Bag-E-Bottom recommended so that I can provide her with some support to the bottom once she starts to put some weight in it.
Well, I know this has gone on long enough. I'll have more photos and sewing news soon.