Friday, September 21, 2012

for mom. with love

at the end of july i suddenly found myself in nyc, a trip i had not planned anytime this calendar year. but some members of my immediate family were gathering at my sister's house and needed me to be there. fortunately it wasn't all business and what was passed uneventfully. there were some great moments, too, like spending time with my niece and nephew and long chats into the night with my big sis.

tee and i were also able to hitch a ride into the city on a friday with my sister. we left her to her day job in the early morning and hopped on the subway with a list of places we wanted to go in a few short hours.

on that list was mood designer fabrics. because i'm a fan of Project Runway and have been since it's first season.

i hadn't realized it was on the third floor of a building and that it took up three floors. so cool. as soon as we walked in i immediately noticed a few of the employees i recognized from the show. how exciting would it have been to spot a designer or Tim Gunn?! it may have been more than i could have handled. i got totally tongue tied when i came face to face with Jessica Mendoza at the 2012 wcws. but that's another story!

i asked tee to take this one photo of me with my iPhone to record my very own Project Runway moment.

we walked up and down all the aisles through all the racks on all three floors looking for some fabric for my mom. sometime back she had asked me to make a specific purse. this one. when my mom has asked me to sew something before, it's been for a gift, a bag or an apron she wanted to give to a friend, never anything for herself. she knows i won't let her reimburse me for the fabric and she doesn't want me to go to any unnecessary expense. moms are thoughtful and considerate that way. i'm grateful mine is, anyway.

so i found some beautiful fabric. actually tee did and i agreed with him. my mom specifically requested something mostly black. i don't think she'll mind the dark brown, the backdrop to the black flowers. this way she can use it with either black or brown shoes, slacks, coat, anything.

it's home deco of a nice weight. it held up so beautifully, even to the fusible fleece used to line the exterior panels, sides and handles. i could hear the needle "pop pop pop" as it slipped in and out of the fabric. i love that sound. it means tight, straight, even stitches to me!

for the inside i wanted a fabric with a lighter color that would pop, but nothing too obvious because i knew it would be visible from the top. i think it's perfect.

it's also a home deco weight, but 100% cotton and flat, not shiny.

the bag is very simple as you can see. i gave her an outside pocket in front and back. the inside is nice and open, has one small pocket for a cell phone or a small wallet and has a sturdy base. i inserted a piece of foamboard in the bottom of the bag between the exterior and lining.

the sides are tacked to give the purse shape and structure. i really like it. and i hope she will, too. i'll get it in the mail to her early next week and see what happens upon arrival!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

a weekend getaway bag

this is it. the bag i'm going to be using for my next weekend getaway. of course, i don't have any immediate travel plans. gosh darn it! regardless, should something come up, i'll be ready.

i love this bag! i was totally intimidated because of the...gasp!...zipper. probably even more so than the tubular frame which i've never used before. so i procrastinated. i had the fabric and fleece cut out two weeks ago. and i sat contemplating it until this week. i needed to release some anxiety. sewing is my meditation. and it worked. all my troubles went right out the door! or my consideration of them anyway.

i broke two needles trying to sew through all the layers of fleece and canvas in the straps, including a super duty jeans/denim 100/16. holy smokes. i would have broken more had i not really taken my time and helped the machine along. i'm thinking the models are made on industrial type machines? no, seriously?

so, let me introduce you to the bag, the bohemian carpet bag by sew liberated. i made a carpet bag a few years ago, this one, for my older sister. and it came out really nice. but i'm thinking i like this one, a lot, because of the frame. which i got here, by the way, along with the swivel snap and feet i used.

here's a full view of the bag...

and a close up of the zippered outside pocket and the frame...

another view the frame, open...

and one of the bottom with the feet...

i really like the corner accents, that they meet at the sides and at the bottom. i like the straps sewn into the bottom seam for extra support. the feet, besides being super cute, will be nice when i sit the bag on the floor. i like how roomy it is inside, as is, with no pockets. this really is a bag to carry your clothes in for any overnight trip. the outside pocket is enough for your cell phone which most of us can't live without. and the key fob, which i didn't take a photograph of, well, it's sewn into the frame casing to hang inside. it's handy dandy so your keys don't get lost.

i would recommend this bag and this pattern, i really would. i would just warn you that the materials can be costly, depending on what you choose to use. i went with this printed cotton duck i bought quite a few years ago. it's woven and durable. i like the bulky handles from the fleece, but it is tough to sew through. just take your time. if you don't need something quite so sturdy, but like the bag, you could easily line your exterior, handles and lining with canvas and skip the fleece all together. those are my thoughts, anyway.

oh, and that zipper? super easy to insert. phew! maybe now i'll take on more projects with more zippers!

i can see more sewing in my near future, of course. i'll be back then!