Monday, December 21, 2015

Stowe Bag Surprise

With Christmas coming up, I had big plans to sew something for everyone I know but then decided to just do one of these bags and see how it went and then decided not to go nuts on gifting this year afterall since our apartment is kind of dark by the time I get home from work and weekends are too busy and I would never finish all I wanted to finish. So I only made one of these little bags to mail to my dear friend Meredith stuffed with a few goodies. I found some darling fabric from Japan and got to work!

You can see my cozy crafting nook here in this snap my husband took when I escaped work early one day to work on this project.
December 07, 2015 at 03:26PM

The pattern is the Stowe Bag by Grainline Studio. I am definitely going to be making more of these! The bag sewed up a lot easier than I expected and it has interior pockets and all! This is the small size and I  definitely want to make the larger one for myself.  If you have a birthday coming up, you might be getting one of these bags from me, just a warning! 

I had a heck of a time getting a photo of this bag in the waning light (not to mention my arm looks freakish) before I packed it up to be mailed off, but here is the finished product! I stuffed in a few home bar essentials and a cute cocktail book and it arrived safe and sound.

Hope you all have a very happy holiday!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

History of a Robe

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!!! I am looking forward to a cozy feast with family in a giant log house in Washington! Before I get to work on the food I am going to make, I wanted to get this blog post out into the world since I finished this project last week.

Let's go way back to a time when Portland was still pretty new to me. I am pretty sure I had a friend visiting, and after exploring around on Mississippi Ave and heading back towards home, we got off the bus at the wrong stop. Instead of walking to the right transfer point or waiting for the next bus, we found a darling vintage shop around the corner.

I don't remember much else about this excursion and I haven't been back to the shop since! But I fell in love with some beautiful fabric there and even though I was trying not to spend money, I had to have it. I did not have a sewing machine or really any plans to get one but I just could not let that fabric sit in that store another minute longer. I thought to myself, "I'll make something out of it some day!"

Well, a little bit of time went by (at least a year or two) and I did get a sewing machine. I took an intro sewing class with a couple of gals to revive the skills I learned from my great aunt back in high school, did a few little projects here and there, and all the while kept thinking about the perfect silky robe I was going to make with that great fabric that I had folded up in a bin somewhere.

I kept accumulating fabric from various projects, scraps and bits that seemed usable for other small projects and every time I dug into my fabric bin to start something new or look for something I would see this bright orange peeking out at me from the bottom of the bin and I would think, "Darnit, I have to make that robe." I was so nervous that I would do something wrong, and once I cut into it, that was it, no more pretty vintage fabric and dreams of perfect robes. I didn't have enough fabric to cover any errors! It was just enough and no more.

Well last week I finally conquered my fears and cut it up. I made a robe that is just exactly what I was picturing. It's definitely not perfect, I absolutely stitched the bias tape on wrong, and this fabric gave me a lot more trouble than I expected because it was so slippery. It was very hard to cut straight lines with the fabric slipping all over the place. But I love the way it turned out and am so glad I finally did it and got that fabric out of the bin and into the closet!

2015-11-25 Robe1

Searching for easy robe patterns I found this blog post that did not use an actual pattern but more of a general guide with room for making it your own. I used the cutting guide there as my starting point which was basically folding the fabric in half, cutting out a neck hole, cutting down the front, and cutting out notches from the sides for the kimono-like sleeves, using that cutaway fabric to make the robe ties. I wanted as few cuts as possible to maximize the fabric that I had and this seemed like the simplest way. I had the smart idea to sew the belt to the back of the robe, so it would never get lost. In the end, since this is not a fitted garment, all these little imperfections are hardly noticeable. My only real regret is not adding in a pocket on one of the side seams!

I just can't get over how pretty the fabric is!
2015-11-25 Robe3

I am getting a brand new phone with a great camera later today, so I will try to post a lot more photos of all kinds of stuff in the days to come, so add me on Instagram!

Also, if you haven't already checked out She's a Giant on Etsy, you should! I have a discount code set up for 20% off if you enter code FBfriends20 at checkout. Custom quilts make wonderful Christmas presents!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Return of the Mich

I'm back! I know, I can barely believe it either.

A whole lot has changed since my last post almost four (!!!!) years ago, including getting married and moving into a pretty small loft apartment, which is all very exciting!

I am reviving this blog with the intention of getting a lot more crafty and making a lot more things in general. I will probably still post about books and inspiring things I find around the web, but mainly I am going to focus on what I am creating in my craft space.

The most recent projects I have been doing are making little baby quilts for friends. These are super fun, pretty fast, and I really enjoy picking out fabric and making something that my friends (and their little bundles of joy!) will probably have forever!

Here are a couple of my faves
This doll has a space themed room filled with black and white details. I was obsessed with this constellation fabric when I saw it in the fabric store and am so glad it worked for this quilt!

This is the most recent quilt I made and since the family didn't have a set theme in place, we just went with colors. I was asked to use shades of blue, teal, maybe lime green. I love how this quilt turned out and it looks so good in the little dude's room!

There are a few more photos of quilts on Flickr.

I have a handful of other projects I want to work on and document, such as a robe out of some vintage fabric I have been toting around for about 8 years but am scared to cut up. I also want to try my hand at more regular clothing items, since I subscribed to Seamwork to encourage myself to sew more often. Once in a while I also like to try a random craft idea from Pinterest such as an eye mask for sleeping (not my most successful, but it works) or a padded sunglasses case (as a gift).

So! Please do follow along and I will be sure to try to keep the posts short, sweet, entertaining, and picture heavy. I know how this works (sort of)!