The first long weekend of the “summer of 2012″ was here this past weekend. It always feels that when it’s time for the May long weekend (Victoria Day), the summer season officially starts, even if the weather turns out like crap. We lucked out with the weather and took the kids to the Rodeo on Saturday. It’s our annual thing even though my husband and I really don’t like going. For a few hours of watching the kids have fun on the midway, we spend an inordinate amount of money. But, needless to say, the kids had a blast and the weather cooperated so it was a fun afternoon for them and it is fun watching them have fun.
Fast forward to Sunday and Monday and the weather turned really icky. Like any other day/weekend, I’m always the first one up in the house and I like it like that. I do sleep in past my regular weekday alarm clock time but 7 am is usually about the latest I’ll stay in bed. I thoroughly cherish those quiet moments in the house while everyone else is still sleeping.
This past weekend, I made it a bit of a mission to try out a bunch of small sewing projects and to also make some jewelry. I’m getting ready for a craft show in just a couple of weeks (deep breaths inserted because I’m nervous that I don’t have enough time to get enough new stuff added to my inventory) and I would like to introduce some small sewing projects (little zip pouches and metal frame clutches) to my show display. I still love my chainmaille jewelry but I’d like to diversify just a little. Can’t be a bad thing, right?
I’m a fan of Michelle Patterns. Her patterns are nice, simple, quick and easy and the instructions very well written. I must admit that until recently, I’ve been better at buying and stashing and printing her patterns than actually working my way through them all. That’s not to say that I didn’t do a few of them before but there are many, many, many that I bought and never tried. So, last Friday, I printed out a bunch of the small pouch patterns with the idea that if I have them printed, organized and the pattern pieces all cut out, I might just start getting them done, one by one. I didn’t work through my pile of patterns that I printed but I got a few done. Here’s a project group shot:
Aren’t they cute? So here are some further details:
These two are made from one of Michelle’s tutorials, the Dumpling Zip Pouch. Cute, eh? When I first saw the tutorial, I was a little intimidated. All the zipper clipping and sewing it around a curve………. ugggh…. let’s stay away from that. Oh, I do not like to clip curves. I do not, truly, I do not. Well, I tried the sheepy pouch first. I got the fabric at a “destash craft market” and paid mere pennies for it. It’s so cute though. So, the blue one was my first attempt and there’s a couple of things I learned. First of all, it’s definitely easier than it looks. With great instructions, it’s not all that bad. Secondly, I’m inclined to skip the step in a pattern that mentions the workd “baste”. Well, go for it, spend the time, baste the zipper. It really makes the final zipper installation easy. Thirdly, don’t stitch too close to the zipper teeth. I think the curved nature of the pouch makes it even more pronounced that when you sew too, too close to the zipper teeth, the lining might get caught in the zipper pull. That’s what happened with my blue pouch so it is not giftable but it is still usable. It’s mine and since I like things with sheep on them, I won’t complain. So, that’s the big thing that I did differently the second time with the pink pouch. I just shifted the sewing line when sewing the zipper in a little bit. The way I sew zippers with my Janome Horizon, I have a very special mark on my Accufeed foot that I let run along the very edge of the fabric when I put in a zipper (no, I don’t use the zipper foot). I still wanted to be able to use that as a guide so in a moment of brilliance, I decided that I could just move the needle to the right. Not something I could have ever done with my old machine so it wasn’t a natural thought that occurred to me. I felt rather brilliant coming up with such a basic, simple idea all on my own. So pouch #2 was much better. I am planning on making some more so my “production schedule” is to cut out a bunch and then baste the zippers in a marthon TV session on evening and then they can all come to the sewing machine with me.
Next up was the Zip Clutch pattern. Super cute with the little sash. Just adds a little something extra and rather than boxing the corners, darts add the volume at the bottom. I really like how this turned out. Maybe I’ll use a contrast fabric for the sash when I make another attempt. I’d have to lie if I said that I remembered what size I made. I think I made the medium size. I don’t really have too many comments about this one, other than that it’s a nice pattern, works up quickly and it was my first time that I used sewn zipper tabs on either side of the zipper.
Last but not least, as I was trolling the blogs and all, thinking about other quick projects I could play with, Michelle added the basic pattern pieces for an i-phone pouch. I used more of the pink fabric which is so very pretty. I made a zippered i-phone pouch earlier in the week and it turned out really nicely as well. I’m trying to compare which style I like better. They are both really cute (just don’t have a good picture of the zippered one). This pattern was a “pattern pieces” only with the basic construction much like some other patterns. I had the other pattern and I am getting pretty good at “winging it”. I have a couple more cut out. I’m just trying to decide on whether I like velcro on projects like that. I’m kind of thinking that snaps would be good but I don’t own a snap press (but my friend does). I do have snap pliers but I don’t know how well they would work through layers of interfacing etc.
So there’s my sewing from the weekend.
I got my FitBit for Mother’s Day. See my previous post. So far I love it. I’m out of time to talk a whole lot more about it right now.