Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vogue 8406, the FFS Bag


I have an issue with the zipper on this bag. With fabric that has as much going on as this one, well, you need a honkin' zipper. So I got a big toothed number that will be further embellished. It is put in per the pattern directions, what I would call the "windowpane" bound buttonhole method. The piece of fabric that is sewn right sides together to the front of the bag with a long box the size of the zip is then turned to the inside. The zipper is topstitched to this "window." This is all according to directions. Not a problem, at least until you get to topstitch the zip and then can't stitch the  ends of the zipper because one simply cant sew through a zip, particularly a honkin' zip! So I didn't, simple as that. I secured the zip with two rows of topstitching on either side of the teeth. For the ends I did my work on the inside.
It's too hard to see but the green arrows show the stitching ling that I did to the zipper/pocket lining to secure the ends. The zipper end is inside the black pocket lining. I sewed it, including the zip tape, at an angle till I got to the teeth, then I lifted the presser foot, jumped over to the other side and sewed back down the tape, again which is hidden under the fabric. It feels really solid and I hope will be secure enough. I think with a bit of daring you could maybe sew through a normal dress zipper, not that I would recommend it though. This is just something to be aware of with this particular pattern.

This bag is topstitched all over. Since it doesn't show much, I decided to double topstitch as you can see here on the pocket. This metallic fabric is like a busy print. The details get lost. I need some contrasting texture or something to break it up a bit. You will see what I came up with! I will get back to this on the weekend and just have the lining to put in now. Then after that I have to pick up my paintbrush and start painting the once flooded family room. Picking out paint color is the hardest thing two married people can do. After numerous five dollar cans of paint samples we have finally decided on "Nantucket Dune". Doesn't that sound nice?

* Thanks to Rhonda Buss for the totally unexpected props in her blog today. If you would like to read it here's the link: Rhonda's Creative Life. .  She has a great blog with lots of wonderful garments that she has designed herself. She gives you the 411 on how to work up your own versions of her great designs. Enjoy!.....Bunny

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hormonal Sewing?


Just this morning a blog post by Julia Bobbin  brought back many thoughts of inspired sewing moments, or should I say binges? She references sewing creativity peaking during ovulation. While my eggs have long since parked their butts and dried up before heading down the Fallopian highway anymore, this brought back a lot of memories.

Do you get times when your sewing madness just binges with a drive that won't let you quit? While I never found ovulation to be my peak sewing time (isn't it the peak for something else?) that week before my period was gang busters! That is when I would shop, spend too much money, cut out too many patterns, and sew way into the night in an estrogen inspired haze that guilted me as soon as I started to flow. TMI! I would get ideas that begged to be realized and a drive that blocked out the dietary and laundry needs of the rest of my family. Call it Positive PMS. Truth is, if I didn't get to express  myself creatively at this time, we got into Negative PMS and you don't want to know what that was like. The good thing was DH didn't take long to learn it was a wise man who stayed out of my way. And I did always come up with some fantastical result that he would be very proud of. And peace was kept in the family. And as long as I was pumping out art in my basement sewing room, I was not going into family meltdown with the other two females in our home, who like in any larger group of women, manage to cycle at the same time!


Another experience I had with creativity that sticks out has to do with medication. Some years back I was in an auto accident and got a second concussion. I say that because I had a third last summer when I banged my face up. Anyway, after that second concussion I experienced something called Post Concussive Syndrome, turning into a maniacal different personality who couldn't walk a straight line or speak a coherent sentence. Luckily DH got me to the doctor fast. If you've had a family member diagnosed with concussion you know they always tell you "watch for personality changes". Well this one changed and went haywire. Anyway, my good doctor prescribed the standard treatment, a run of Prozac, and it helped tremendously and quickly helping to get my brain back in balance. My personality was in balance. Relationships were in balance. Life was in balance. Prozac will do that to you, everything is in good ole boring boring balance. It didn't take long to realize that the excitement/high of creativity was gone from my life. How can you have a high from sewing and creating when everything is always in balance? It's like this really important part of your life has just kind of sunk back into some hidden place not wanting to come out and play at all.

I got over the Syndrome business, got off the Prozac, and felt lots better. My creativity came soaring back like the good old days, especially before the start of my periods, just like the those Positive PMS days always did.

I can tell you that with the Big Meno, that creativity does not go away. I seem to have it at a slightly lower level, not so manic, but it is consistently there, day in and day out, just in case you were wondering about the next phase of hormone induced sewing passion. I like that it is not so maniacal. I like that everyday I feel inspired to sew and create, day in and day out. That is a good, satisfying thing.

Here's my question: have you found your focus and inspiration altered by hormones or medication or anything else? Inquiring minds want to know!....Bunny

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Vogue 8406, the Faux Foiled Suede Bag, aka, FFS Bag




     
It feels really good to start a project. I figured I would get the quickest gratification from stitching a bag using the  recently  purchased metalized faux suede. This Vogue pattern is OOP (out of print) and it's too bad. It has three very different designs offered in the pattern. I have made View B twice but this time I will do Bag A for the first time. I like it's simplicity and those outside pockets. I wanted something really simple to best show off the fabric and this should do that nicely. This pattern is on numerous Etsy sites if you are interested. 

While I know I have publicly sworn off of dark lining for bags (don't like black holes), this bit of tencel was a great compliment to the coppery tones of the suede. It also provided more of that instant gratification thing that I am going for here. You see, my days in the cave are numbered. The wood has been purchased and painting will start tomorrow as well. That will push everything out of the space, everything! I will bring my machine, ironing board, and cutting mat up to the great room and make do on my kitchen island. I think it will work. Won't be what we are used to but hey, it's temporary and I have to have my fix. 

The first thing I will do for this project tomorrow will be to experiment with the stitching and topstitching. I think some play is needed to figure out which needle will work best. I'm betting the 14 HS stretch might be the one but will also try a microtex as well. 

I put the two fabric pics in because the top one is a better pic of the lining and the small one is a better pic of the FFS (faux foiled suede). At this point the fashion fabric and lining are cut out. This time I will use the recommended hair canvas as spec'd in the pattern. This design doesn't require too much shape so I am not concerned with the drape the hair canvas will  provide. I find Vogue often specs hair canvas for bags that, in my opinion, really should have more structure. But this one should work out fine. I should be able to work on this tomorrow and hope to get going bright and early. At least between bouts of preparing these:

Aren't they gorgeous? It's that time of year! I will roast these puppies along with a bit of onion, lots of garlic until they are caramelized around the edges of the pan. Then it will all be scooped up, put into freezer zip locs, and frozen to await the depths of winter for enjoyment. This so beats the canning process which I did for years. And it tastes tons better! I think we cried when we ate the last bag around last February.......Bunny


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Can you feel it?

The excitement, that is! Yup, its me, the excited one. I have spent two solid days cleaning, chucking and moving around all the furniture and "stuff" that was ramrodded into the furthest depths of my basement, all lifted off the floor and piled high. Where was my ironing board? Heck, where was my ironing?

Things are finally approachable, findable, and  space is negotiable. I CAN SEW AGAIN!!! Now don't get me wrong. This is not the Ritz Carleton. What it is is clean, somewhat organized, and able to be utilized for sewing. My new patterns aren't underneath stacks of saved photos, (thank God for saved family photos!). I now am back to knowing where everything is, have a cutting table set up, actually in the family room in front of the big window, nice! Then there are the clean counters, ironing board set up, all dry and smelling great. Worked my buns off!  It will all get shoved back in a pile right before the contractor arrives in a few weeks but for now, Momma's happy.

Pair that with a trip to the fabric store and you can feel the love, I tell ya. My formerly mojoless, depressed state of mind is now brimming with possiblity. Here is the my newly inspired queue. Hopefully I will get to tackle it all.

This is a piece of poly suede with a metalized surface. I think it will be gorgeous for a bag. The bolt end says do not machine wash, do not dry clean, do not use a dryer, do not iron,  basically wash by hand and lay flat. No matter. I think it will make a gorgeous bag of some sort. Will I be screaming by the end of that project? Maybe.


Here is a really nice cotton, what I truthfully thought was a tiny wale cord, but not so upon a really close inspection. Any way, I like the quality, nice heft and soft drape. This will be made into a smocked pinafore for Sophie to wear with leggings and a tee.




This is  lovely 2.99 wooden placemat from Home Goods ( wedding trip )  I hope to turn into a bag. If you haven't seen how that magic happens check Rhonda Buss's version and directions.

Still more in the queue bringing back my mojo. I really want to make a padded out dress form as taught by Kenneth King. You can see one being made on the Adonizing blog.  I think I will start with the Vogue sloper pattern shown here:
 ETA: Forgot to add I want to get started on my winter coat as well. I got some gorgeous black wool at Fabric Place Basement in Natick, Mass. I have a couple of vintage swing coat patterns in the stash being saved up for this project. I have since seen a couple made up on other blogs and while they were beautiful coats they seemed to swallow up the wearers and I'm only five feet tall. So I am leaning toward this Indygo Junction pattern. I like the neckline a lot and it has a bit less swing but does have some. The sleeves made need a little work. I would also make it knee length which would add a bit of swing as well.  So that's in the queue also.



These are all ideas rolling around in my mind as I relish the idea of getting back into my cave. You can't keep this girl down!
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On our "wedding trip" DH and I averaged 50 MPG with our new little Chevy Cruz Eco, our first American made vehicle since we got married! We are thrilled with the mileage and even more thrilled that this great little car is made in the good ole USA. To bad those Olympic uniforms weren't, Mr. Lauren....Bunny





Thursday, August 9, 2012

Mojo Postponed!


My rubeckias and zinnias are just glorious right now despite our current drought conditions. No thanks to massive hand watering, thank you!

Thanks for all the sympathies about our recent flood situation. You are all so kind. We are over the worst. The floors and everything else are now bone dry. Rugs are cleaned and everything has been given it's dose of fungicide. We are in good shape and ready to start redecorating which I am excited about. This weekend however we are traveling down to NH for the wedding and family time. Danny's project is complete other than putting it on stretcher strips and I hope to have pics soon. I am pleased and it was a real evolution. We will be dealing with phase two, construction, of our situation when we get home. I am itching to sew and am tossing around what to attack first. The list is long: window treatments for upstairs, slipcover the wing chair, make my winter coat, a jacket for work, work on a new padded out dress form, etc..etc...etc...The ideas are backing up densely in the queue. I will also keep up on newbie posts as soon as things get a little more sane here which should be pretty soon. In the meantime a brief break is in order. Thanks for your understanding. Happy sewing!...Bunny
 The driest corner of the back basement where everything got pushed from my once organized sewing room. Yuck! It is never like this.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My Sewing World has Crashed!

Long story short, we had a pipe burst at night. Our beautiful red oak floors are all gone. Fans with the decibel level of jet engines are running round the clock. The "mildew-cide" will come next. The restoration company could not restore anything so when I came home from work today every bit of furniture was shoved into the dryer areas, lifted off the floors, and the flooring pulled out. It is total chaos and you all know how particular and organized I am.  They have to pull out the cabinets in the sewing room to remove that floor. Our basement is/was bone dry and never had a smell. It's got one now and that's just a couple of days. Orientals have been sent out for cleaning, ugh. Of course guests are coming for the weekend.

This will get fixed as fast as I can get it.  Until I can sew again and have this situation under control blogging may be sparse so bear with me. This is one adventure I hadn't planned on....Something told me to not try to make that dress.....Bunny