Wednesday, March 17, 2010

{Hey Hannah & Seeing Spots}

Yup, it's another one of those Rag Bags -
Look, I latch onto something once I get the hang of it - and honestly these are SOOOO easy they just started practically making themselves at this point....

Up first - my niece has a very unhealthy obsession with Hannah Montana (her dogs name is Liddy Little, Hannah Montana, Miley Cyrus --- but dont' worry, in another week she'll add another surname on .... :) ) but really - she does love HM so of COURSE when I found this HM fabric in a discounted remnant bucket at a local store I had to buy it for HER rag bag - I did go off to purchase the blue stars fabric special for her after talking with her and showing her the HM fabric (her insistence was purple, but I couldn't find a purple that went with this anywhere so I gave up).

Her verdict? She loves it

Then I made my oldest daughter one of her own too - for all the ones I've made for the kids so far I've just used approx. 1/2 yard of fabric of each kind but keep in mind on those that you are going to "fussy cut" (thanks to a sewing mentor of mine - K - for teaching me that term) (btw - it means when you are choosy on what you cut for your project - i.e. how I lined up the Hannah Montana images on the my squares for cutting them out) then you need to give yourself some extra as you'll be wasting quite a bit this way possibly.

So this is my daughters - the brown was made using 1 fat quarter (that was all the store had - it's what I originally wanted for MY purse, but when I went back to buy more they where GONE GONE GONE) - the pink fabric I bought because I like it and it just so happened they go pretty well together (at least I think so).

Monday, March 15, 2010

{Tink Tink}

Well of course once I made ONE of those Rag Bags I had to make more - they are SUPER addictive.... I'd almost venture to say that I am borderline in need of some rehab at this point ....

So my next project - to create Rag Bags for my daughters and nieces - (I'm not sure these can be "manly" enough for my boys - but more on that in a future post).

First up in line - a TinkerBell purse for my almost 4 year old - Tink is her new obsession - seems that Dora has now because the "fair weather friend" in this relationship and she sits lonely in the toy box for days at a time ----- My little shopping buddy was with me when shopping for fabric and kept asking for various fabrics too (I'm not so sure she even knew was it was for - it's just that she's easily distracted by beautiful and shiny things) and I kept telling her I'd find her something "just right" .... well on an excursion without her I found a "remnant" piece of Tinkerbell fabric on discount, the green just so happened to be on remnant discount too :)
It works out PERFECT that the Scallop Square die for the Big Shot from Stampin UP! that is used for this project is clear so I could super easily see where to line up my die to make the cuts so I could feature Tink and each of her beautiful fairy friends on the panels of this purse.

So what do you think?
Her verdict? ---- SHE LOVES IT!!! She carries it around the house all day long and shows it off to EVERYONE who comes (including the mailman) by.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

{Ragga Riffic}

So my newfound sewing adventure started because of seeing these super cute "rag bags" that fellow Stampin UP! demonstrator where posting all over my Demonstrator lists, blogs etc.

I finally got the courage to pull that beautiful Singer machine from the closet and let Sally get a breath ..... and I decided that of course my very first project would have to be my very own Rag Bag purse.

By NO means am I trying to type out a tutorial here, just a quick rundown of what I did to create this project (my version will probably drive my teacher friend nuts - she can't STAND poorly written tutes and such!)

Items used: fabric (I THINK that I used about 1/2 yard of each fabric -this included "waste" and a little extra I'm sure), Big Shot (Stampin UP), Scallop Square Die (Stampin UP! Exclusive), all purpose (dual duty) thread, sewing machine, iron, quiltering batting (I bought Fusible batting b/c I like the density of it but didn't attempt to fuse it).

To create my purse I used two different fabrics. Some of the purses I've seen others make have used 3-4 fabrics or even a different fabric for every "patch" of the purse.

You run the fabric through the Big Shot machine on the Scallop Square die to create your pieces. You can run 4-8 layers at a time (depending on the thickness of your fabric). Then I cut my fusible batting into 3x3 squares. Placed a piece of batting between two scallop squares (with the rights sides facing out on both front and back panels). Then you can pin or if you are "good" at sewing you can just hold them - do a diagonal stitch across. Then turn and go the OTHER way on the diagonal to create an "x"

Then you'll lay your pieces out and assemble into a bag - choosing however large you want - 3x3 panels (three rows of three squares) or smaller or larger :) Then you will assemble the bag by stitching your pieces together to form the appropriate number of rows etc. I won't even try to explain that because there are MANY other people who write that out MUCH better than myself and have already posted step by step instructions (with photographs) out there :) I can't top that I'm sure.

I formed my own handles using an iron and strips of fabric and included a small strip of batting inside too for "comfort" and support.

I think it turned out pretty cool. Once I get the nerve to wash it then it will have the "rag" look that is selling in malls all over (well at least at ours anyhow --- for upwards of $20 per bag).

My total cost was approx $8-10 I think - well that is what it would have been if my friend wouldn't have let me use some of HER fabric b/c what I had just wasn't doing it for me (thanks J for the pink polka dots). That includes the batting, the fabric, and a spool of thread (though I didn't use the whole thing of course).

I'll be posting some of my other projects very soon :)

PS: for those that are local I've had a few requests for me to teach this as a hands on class - I'm definitely open to is - I just need to work out the logistics (we all will need sewing machines)!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A new adventure - or a revisit of sorts

I've never been a "sewer", no not a sewer as in plumbing, but as in sewing things together - I think the correct term for that is seamstress perhaps :)

I've done this or that here and there - but my first "big break" into sewing was a quite ambitious project. Back in 2002 when I was pregnant with Thing 3 I could NOT find any nursery bedding in the "scheme" I was wanting - moon & stars but in yellow and sunset purple type colors - so I set about on an adventure .... and adventure in sewing. My lovely husband bought me a brand new sewing machine (middle of the road type), some "accessories" - you know, some bobbins, a seam ripper, that sort of thing. I picked out some cute fabric and a pattern set (which I THINK I still have even) and went to work - I created her bed quilt, bumper pad, crib skirt, wall hanging, valance and an "organizer" (it was called a crib organizer on the pattern, but really it was for diapering supplies so we hung it on the changing table) as well as a diaper stacker.

I'd never done anything so "ambitious" before. My previous bouts of sewing usually involved a home ec teacher, a lame bag or pair of "boxer" shorts that never quite came out "right" but good enough to pass, or a half finished "quilt" project with a friend back in my days overseas.

But I met this challenge head on, completed all the items, decorated the nursery - a short time later the baby came and then ---- we moved ---- before Thing 3 ever got to actually SLEEP in her nursery --- eh - oh well right LOL! I'd also like to mention that I also spent MANY hours painting vertical stripes on the bottom portion of her walls (alternating white, sunset yellow and purple) as well as the upper wall the sunset yellow then stenciling on moon & stars and applying a border.

Ultimately what happened to that nursery set? Well I eventually put it into a garage sale - where it sold to a family member for dirt cheap ---- for her grandbaby.

The sewing machine was packed in it's box after that project was completed and moved a handful of times (4 to be exact) to where it has been resting comfortably (in it's original box) in the closet of my craft room (you see I have other hobbies too - those include scrapbooking and rubber stamping) - .... well with slight exception to this one time when we pulled an "extreme master bedroom makeover" for my mom while she was out of town and I sewed a custom cover out of a beautiful silk fabric for the window seat cushion - that rested on the new window seat my father and I built ---- we won't talk about how much she HATED the makeover when she got home, that'd have to be a whole nother blog ... :) Love you mom - and in her defense, she loved the room, just not the blue - who knew that while blue was her favorite color it just isn't a color she'd like to fall asleep to :)

But I digress.....

About a month or so ago I started seeing fellow Stampin UP! demonstrators (yea, that's what I do besides play mommy) posting photos of these really cute Rag Bags they've made using the Big Shot die cutting machine and a Scallop Square die. I yearned to make one - considering I had the machine, the die, and well, that long forgotten sewing machine. I was just scared - scared because it'd been so long....scared I wouldn't have a CLUE what I was doing though EVERYONE said "these are so easy and so addicting" ----

I did what any girl/crafter would do - I forwarded it to a friend who sews and said "hey, I want to make one of these, cute huh" in hopes she'd say something amazing like "oh yea, I'll make one for you" or "wow those are amazing, I'm sure I can totally give you a step by step hands on tutorial right now" hahahah - well J did something even more awesome - she hung out with me for an entire day with her sewing machine on one side of the table, mine on the other (yea it finally got to take a nice deep fresh breath) and we set to work following a few directions shared by a fellow demo and we did it ---- we created one of those bags --- I ... me.... the lady who doesn't sew - created one of those bags -

It's not perfect, and we learned a few "things" along the way ----- but I did it -

My husband was thrilled to see the $200 sewing machine out of the box - so much so that he said "Oh good, now you should sew Thing 2s patches on his scout shirt" --- UHHH that's a little ambitious honey.....

I was thrilled that I did it

and J was thrilled because now we had yet another thing we can do while our Preschool Things played dress up with each other :)

THIS is the start of a whole new world for me... a world that I am greatly enjoying...but my pocketbook not so much... that poor little purse I made, well it's poor now that is for sure - I keep finding myself finding MORE projects I want to try and that means MORE fabric to purchase and thread and bobbins and this and that and who knew there where so many kinds of fusible this and that ... whew ...

The other good news - the iron is getting a workout too --- I forgot we even OWNED an iron .... how sad is that?

So - with this blog I'm not going to make any great claims to post daily, or even weekly, or heck, this might end up being the one and ONLY post I ever make - as I may have to file bankruptcy for my Joanns purchases LOL - but this, well I thought this would be a good spot to share any of my projects I make - wether they are works of art or total flops ....

Just a little bit of sharing from me, the Not Sew Experienced sewer :)

PS: I'll NEVER claim to have an original idea here I'm sure - so I'll do my BEST to give credit where credit is due when I use someones idea here - if you EVER see YOUR original idea shown here in one of my projects and I didn't give you credit, do send me a note so I can properly expose your talent to the world (or my mom who will likely be the only one who ever reads this --- or not since I outted her disdain over the extreme master bedroom makeover :)