What can I say? I still had some denim strips left!

And I’m certainly not one to waste recycled denim!  So let’s make another bag.  This one is not quite big enough to hold my iPad, not like the last one I made.  This one seemed to go together quicker too!  Perhaps it wasn’t as “fancy” or perhaps I’m actually getting used to throwing them together?!?

Again, I started by sewing my strips together, pressing them, ironing on the fusible interfacing, and trimming the two outer bag walls to the right size.

Nice dress!  Thanks, I made it!! Continue reading

How to sew a recycled denim handbag. Part 2

Back again!  To recap last week’s post … I wanted to make myself a 100% recycled denim bag, using denim strips like those bags I saw on Pinterest.  Last week I cut up my denim jeans, pieced and sewed the strips together and fused on the interfacing for my outer bag walls.  I sewed the pockets and the zipper pocket on my bag lining.  I sewed the bag strap.  I did my topstitching – I love topstitching and Amber, my Singer 421G was a work horse!  

This week, I continued on.  I prepped the opening zipper, cutting it to the right length and topstitching the zipper tabs on the ends.  I switched from the brown zipper to this blue one as it fit around my iPad just right.

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How to sew a recycled denim handbag.

I was trying to think of an eye-catching, mysterious title for my blog post.  I couldn’t.  I have too been immersed in bag making lately – sewing creatively, instead of blogging creatively!  

The only other handbags I’ve made I posted about here and here.  I made one of them for my sister – she’s seems to be happy with it.  I made her’s by copying something she already had.

This time I wanted to make a handbag for myself out of 100% recycled materials, specifically denim.  I have been collecting a few images on my Pinterest and I’m quite inspired by this recycled denim Chobe Bag with the denim strips sewn together.

Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!!

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Amber takes a break …

Well!  We are all packed, ready to go on holidays!  Amber, my Singer 421G, finished my swimsuit cover up a few days ago and I’ve packed her up for a little R&R!

I just had to show you the cool stitch that Amber can create, one of many I have yet to discover!

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This fabric is a lovely “Dahlia Jacquard”.  51% polyester 46% cotton and 3% spandex.  It feels soft and comfortable.  I didn’t want the seams to be messy and unfinished on the inside, so I decided to finish them off by folding them to one side and sewing them down with a decorative stitch.  I was happy with the results.

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One step closer to the beach …

My sewing days are running out.  Soon my sister and I leave for Mexico.  As usual, I have a dozen ideas but only so much time – so at the top of the list, besides swimsuits, is cover ups.  I bought the fabric for two cover ups – one for my sister and one for me – last weekend.  My sister chose this print – full of black, brown and gold colours.  It’s called Tangiers Linen-look print, 97% polyester and 3% spandex.  It definitely has the quality of linen.  When I pre-washed both fabrics, this one lost at least a 1/4″ off the width with the unravelling and fraying.  I decided that I would have to be very careful finishing off the seams.

Did I make changes to this pattern, McCall’s M7200?  I added a few inches to the length and I made the back only one piece instead of the several they designed into the pattern.  This pattern has a pretty back with all those seams and a bit of a peplum, but I want my cover ups to be a plain style.  I ended up with only four pieces – front, back, collar and sleeve.  (My cover up will be the same, made of the beige fabric.)

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So I like it …

and it takes A LOT for me to like the style, colour and fit of a swimsuit.  With a few changes, this one was good right out of the envelope.  It’s a one piece, which I wanted, and it has flattering gathers at the front to hide all evils.  I removed the gathers at the back though – I’ll explain that later.  The colour … well it’s a wild purple print!  Purple is “my colour” as I have discussed before. The sizing was a bit big, I used shorter than recommended strips of elastic, and I sewed the side seams in with a 1 inch seam allowance, and not a 5/8 inch seam allowance.

So let’s get into some detail about this pattern …

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Photos really help!

Every time I make a pair of pants (trousers) for myself I first take a look at this photo.  No, I did not make these.  This is how RTW (ready to wear) fits on my body – and this is the right size.  Just awful!  This photo reminds me that no matter how little or how much work it is or how good or bad it turns out, me-made is always going to be better than this.

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I have cut out three pairs of pants so far and last Tuesday I finished the first pair – the chocolate brown ones.  I used McCalls M6901 (a Palmer/Pletsch pattern).  I didn’t use to like Palmer/Pletsch patterns – basically because they just went on and on, page after page of instruction to which I never paid any attention.  Silly me! Continue reading

Amber is put to work …

Perhaps you remember my Singer 421G, a convertible free arm sewing machine made in Germany in 1954.  “Amber” for short!  Since purchasing Amber, she has received a good cleaning and oiling, and I took apart her tension assembly and put her back together again.  She runs smoothly now with a nice stitch.

I love the sound she makes – like a train clicking quickly on the tracks, heavy on my table with no shake – unlike my Janome 3160QDC who whirrs loudly and shakes the table as she sews.  Now it’s time to put Amber to work.   Continue reading

Hopeful for a new cardi and avoiding some tension problems …

A while ago I purchased two fabrics – both 85% polyester and 15% rayon knits – a Chevron pattern, one a Hunter Green and one a Red.  Just on a whim.  These fabrics spread out are a bit overwhelming for my taste – but they were too beautiful to resist.  I had to figure out what I was going to make with them.

I thought I would make a cardigan with one, perhaps the darker one, and a skirt … or culottes … or a skirt … or culottes … with the brighter one.

My favourite cardigan pattern is Butterick B5789.  I’ve made my red one successfully before here.  Now just to be brave and try new things, this time, I thought I would try making a cardigan that was reversible.  The green Chevron pattern on one side and a white linen look on the other.  That way if I didn’t feel bold I could wear the Chevron fabric on the inside, just peeking out, and if I was feeling BOLD then I could wear the Chevron fabric on the outside.  I thank my friend, Nadine, for giving me the white linen looking fabric (and quite a few others!).

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Not quite a Rocketeer…

My new Baby is a 1954 Singer Slant-o-matic Convertible, model 421G.  I’m calling her “Amber”.  She was “Made in Germany”.  She’s not quite the Rocketeer (the 500 models) I have been looking for, but being in the 400 series, Amber is close!  My sister says Amber’s just a Rocketeen!  🙂  

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Amber not only has an extension bed, but she has a free-arm too.  Better yet, the free-arm has a compartment to hold all her bobbins, throat plates and Special Discs (that’s what they are called in the manual, but I prefer the name from the internet “Top Hat cams”).

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