Friday, March 19, 2010

The Ruthie Clutch

One of my dear friends turned 30 this week so I thought I'd have a go at making her a bag. I've never made a bag before and never really had the desire too either, but I saw the Ruthie Clutch pattern from Anna Maria Horner and it really appealed to me.

My friend's favourite colours are purple and teal, so as soon as I saw the fabulous Alhambra II collection from Patricia Bravo I knew I wanted to use it. Choosing the main fabric was easy, the pattern and colours are gorgeous! I had a bit of trouble choosing the fabric for the top band though. In the end I bought both 'Endless Chain' in teal and 'Granada Arches' in cream - see below.

I had planned on using the cream fabric for the band and the teal as the lining. I felt the teal would be too garish against the purple. However when the fabrics arrived in the post the cream fabric just didn't look right against the purple. The colour was great, but the pattern was too large for the narrow band and just looked wrong. The teal wasn't ideal but looked a lot better than the cream. In an ideal world I would have liked the design of the teal fabric but in the cream colourway. But moving on...

The pattern was easy to follow, lots of pictures, which I always appreciate, and clear instructions. It even gave two options for finishing off the bag which was great for lazy girls like me who would much rather top stitch than blind stitch. The pattern called for heavy doubled-sided fusible interfacing, which I didn't have, but I improvised with a one-sided interfacing and some vliesofix on the other side and it worked out well.

Before I started making the bag I felt that it was way too big, so made a duplicate of the pattern reduced to 75% of the original size. As it turns out the smaller bag is a bit too small (just big enough for keys, a mobile and phone), so it's lucky I also made the full sized bag, just in case! I had more than enough fabric to make both bags, as yet again the pattern called for waaaaay more fabric than was necessary. Why do they do this??! It drives me crazy. I know I've blogged about it before and will no doubt moan about it again.

The bags were finished with a pink shell button (for the smaller one, which I am going to keep and use as an evening bag) and for the larger bag a gorgeous aqua vintage glass button, courtesy of my mum and her love of all things vintage.

All up this was a nice little project and I enjoyed working with fabrics I wouldn't normally use. I didn't find it as satisfying as making clothes for my kids though, so I don't know how much more bag making is in my future.

The finished bag.

The lining - really like this fabric, which I had intended for the band of the bag.

Finished with a vintage glass button - thanks mum!

The clutch with her little sister, I'll call her Ruthette!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Flipsy skirt

Two posts in one day, go me!

Here's my latest little project, the Flipsy Skirt from Make it Perfect. It's another reversible project and as usual I spent waaay too long trying to decide which fabrics to use. In the end I decided to use up the rest of my Sandi Henderson Medallion Bloom in pink (gosh I'm boring) along with a print called High Tea from Michael Miller. The tea print was an impulse purchase from the fabulous Hawthorne Threads and I was really pleased when it arrived in the post as I liked it much better in real life than on the web. It really suits my little girl who is always hosting little tea parties and offering everyone a 'cup of teeeeeaaaaa!'. The third fabric I used was a green polka dot from Michael Miller that coordinated pretty well with the other two fabrics.

The skirt itself was very quick and easy to sew, although I didn't have much patience for sewing and then attaching the belt loops (10 in total). They were so narrow that the feed on my machine had trouble picking them up, and then attaching them with the tiny buttons (I used translucent pink) was tedious.

Speaking of belt loops, you'll notice that the belt is nowhere to be seen. I haven't actually made it yet - no excuse other than laziness! It's the same green dot fabric and I have promised myself I'll get it done this weekend!

Side one: medallion bloom by Sandi Henderson. Love this, but I have a real soft spot for...

...this side! High Tea by Michael Miller house designer.

Sweet pea modelling the first side

And the second side. She told me she was 'so cute' in this one, as only a two year old can.

The skirt with the hat I made last month. Just wish I had the foresight to use the high tea fabric for the reverse of the hat.

Lazy day hat

I'm a bit behind on the blog, this is a hat I made about six weeks ago. I feel terrible as I initially bought the pattern to make for my son, but so far have only made one for my daughter (my excuse - my son's six month old head is growing at a rapid rate and I don't want to 'waste' the cute fabric I bought to make him a hat that he will outgrow before next summer).

The pattern is the lazy day hat by Make it Perfect. It's a great pattern and is pretty forgiving of some dodgy, messy sewing from me. I suspect I'll be using it a lot over the coming years. As it is my daughter goes through about 3-4 hats per week... the ones she wears at home get covered in vegemite/dirt/crayon, and the ones she wears to daycare get covered in paint. The constant washing wears them down a bit.

As the hat is reversible I used two fabrics from Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market range - the pink medallion bloom and the stripes. I adore these fabrics! In hindsight, using a striped fabric on a round hat was never going to work, so my daughter just wears the hat one way. The stripes do look cute peeking out from the 'lining' though.

I'll definitely be making more of these hats. I am picturing hats to match my daughter's dresses next summer, and of course I have two hats ready to sew for my son next summer, one with little frogs and one with rockets and aliens.

Although it's reversible, my daughter only wears the hat this way. Just love that fabric!

And this is why... those stripes on the round hat make just aren't right.

But they do look cute peeking out as the 'lining'.

My little sweet pea wearing the hat on her way to the merry-go-round on her 2nd birthday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Girly Skirt

I recently won a $20 gift voucher through Quilthome's 'link of the week' - hurrah! I used my new found riches to buy a half yard each of a couple of fabrics from Tanya Whelan's Ava Rose collection. One of my close friends has a little girl called Ava Rose who is turning three this month, so I thought I'd make something special for her using the fabric. The fabric is lovely, although not the sort of thing I usually go for. I enjoyed sewing with it though, it was beautiful quality.

I have had the Pink Fig girly skirt pattern in my collection for a while so decided to use that. The pattern called for .75 of a yard for the drop waist and hem band but I only needed half a yard (does that drive anyone else mad? So often I waste money buying more fabric than I actually need...).

I'm quite pleased with the results. I've never gathered fabric before and am happy with how it turned out, although it is a little uneven in patches. I think the dropped waist is quite cute too, kind of old fashioned.

Expect to see more and more skirts on this blog, my little girl wears them a lot and I'm looking forward to churning out a few for her over the coming months.

The finished skirt.

Being modelled by my daughter. She is a size 1-2 and the skirt is a size 3, so it's too big on her, but you get the idea!

It's a longish skirt, but hopefully won't be this long on the little girl I made it for.