August 25, 2010

Adding Some Style

Well, you may have expected to see a new bag this week from the Carry Me book sew along, however I had a little mishap this past week.  Somethings just never go as planned!  But this time in a somewhat good way I suppose.  My hubs and I decided to start looking for a new home (YAY!!).  Not only was it fun looking at homes and seeing how others decorate/stage their homes, but it was a great bonding experience for the both of us, at least I thought so.  As you may recall we are somewhat newly married so things like this get us a little bit excited.  I'll keep you posted on the house hunting status as we get more serious about which house will be our next home!

As you can imagine, all I could do was dream about decorating a new home and plan furniture layouts for each house we entered.  Therefore, my mind was not on making a bag.  Don't get me wrong, I did start a bag - I'm determined to stick with the schedule on this project after all!  However, when one's mind gets to wandering it tends to make bad decisions or in this case pick the wrong fabric and not follow directions.  Yup, the bag is kind of a disheveled mess.  The fabric that I chose for the lining turned out to be some wonky kind of fabric that apparently distorts when you iron it and even worse when you try to add some interfacing to it.  Needless to say, the lining in its current state warped - leave it to me to make a bag lining warp!  So, I have put that project aside and began starting redesigning some t-shirts - remember those $2.99 t-shirts I found on sale a few weekends ago?

While on my shopping excursion a few weekends ago I not only found those nice cheap t-shirts, but also got some inspiration on how to style them up a bit.  So, here we have some fun new shirts that, at least in my opinion, don't look so cheap now! 

All I did for both of these was to cut out a bunch of circles - about the size of a 50 cent piece and smaller - and start designing.  The fabric I used consisted of some tulle, lace and netting in a variety of colors.  The white t-shirt was a bit easier in that I just stacked some various sized circles and hand sewed them on to the shirt adding white and silver beads to the center of the circle - kind of giving it a flower look.

The dark gray t-shirt took a little bit more time and a whole lot more circles!  Beware, cats love these circles!  Well at least mine did.  I left the circles stacked on the table while I finished making dinner.  No more than 5 minutes after I walked away from them, I hear this mew, you know, that mew when a cat has caught something.  I look over to the table and here is the cat with a mouth full of tulle circles!!!  She was all excited and acting like she caught the catch of the day!  At the time it was not funny, but now thinking back at that image, I can't help but laugh!  Needless to say, this brought about another project that I'll show hopefully later this week.

Back to the dark gray shirt!  Here I kind of crunched up the circles and then hand sewed them on to the shirt right next to one another - kind of forcing them to stand up.  I kept the separation of "flowers" close along the neckline and then spaced them further apart toward the shoulder and trickled a few back down toward the armpit area. 

There you have it.  Two very inexpensive shirts with a new style to them.  Can't beat that.

I know, I now need to get back to the bag project that I put aside.  Hopefully try number 2 will go much better.


August 19, 2010

Repurposing For The Dog

Have you ever wondered what to do with those disinfectant cloth containers?  I have kept a few just hoping that I would be clever enough someday to think of a way to repurpose them - after all that's a lot of plastic just to throw away.  Guess what, tonight was the night the light bulb went off on what to do with them; store dog poo bags!  Why didn't I think of that sooner??  Sorry for the glamorous reveal, but a dog lover has to do what a dog lover has to do!

We have some 80+ rolls of dog poo bags as I went a little crazy when I found some biodegradable ones on sale.  Needless to say storing these rolls is a little chaotic at times.  When you pull one bag off the roll it tends to get put on the nearest flat surface and inevitably unrolls into this long mess.  Problem solved!  These containers both store quite a few rolls as well as dispenses a baggie without having to worry about it unrolling.  Yahoo!

I decorated the container just so it was a little more glamorous.  My materials: an empty disinfecting wipe container, fabric,and some spray adhesive (that managed to escape the photo).  And of course the dog bags.

To make the cover I used the paper cover that was on the container as a pattern - mine measured 14" x 6".  Cut some fabric accordingly, adding a 1/2" seam allowance, then sew a hem around 3 of the 4 sides of the fabric (the 4th side is covered with a little bit of overlap). 

With a little spray adhesive we have a repurposed container that is now holding several rolls and dispenses dog bags.   

Doesn't look too bad, perhaps I should start covering these containers when they still have the disinfecting cloths still inside. 


August 16, 2010

Small Purse

Amongst the mundane tasks of the weekend there was a little bit of excitement.  Our Mango graduated from high school!  Ok, so maybe it was just advanced dog obedience class, but she still deserves a little bit of a shout out for all her hard work.  Now with her several diplomas proudly hanging on the wall she is now displaying her new skills by barking at all the neighbors and refusing to drop the ball!  Hmmmm...guess she is still a puppy and we love her in any event. 

In other news it was a tax-free weekend in Florida.  So it was off to the outlet mall to take advantage of some good deals and of course, no tax.  I wrangled in quite a few deals, including some t-shirts for $2.99 each.  I certainly couldn't pass up that deal, so I grabbed a few and plan on adding a little bit of Nae Chic styling to them, so be on the lookout.

And not to leave it to the last topic, but onto the Carry Me: 20 Boutique Bags sew along project of the week.  I had all the intentions in the world of making 2 small bags this weekend.  However, with my distractions plus a non-intentioned movie I have yet to get the second bag started.  But what do you think of this one?  I have to say I was on the fence about it, but as it started to take shape I gradually began to fall in love with it.  I even took some extra time (in between the 10+ doggy walks) and hand embroidered some extra detail on it.  As has been the case with the other bags, I made some slight modifications.  For starters, this bag didn't have a pocket, so I added one.  The pattern called for a leather button closure, however I wasn't all into the button closure style, so I changed it to a magnetic snap.  And the last modification was the handle.  I decided to go with a fabric handle versus the leather one that was called for; I think it still turned out pretty good.
All in all, I really like the way this bag turned out and have so many ideas of how to make further modifications to it.  I'm sure you will be seeing this bag, or verstions of it in the future.  I particularly like the way it nicely fits under your arm for easy carrying. 

For comparison, here is the picture from the book of the "Small Purse" (the one in the front). 

August 10, 2010

Makeup Brushes To-Go

A small break for a small project.  I broke away from bags to put together a travel makeup brush roll.  I have had this on my to-do list for quite some time since my poor brushes have had to travel stashed in a makeup bag causing them to get smooshed (like that term!) en route. 

Since I recently found a great deal on some brushes I now have more than one girl probably needs, so therefore a greater need to have a proper place for them when I travel.  It also turned out big enough to hold mascara and lip gloss.  Sad thing is, I don't have plans to travel any time soon to use it!  But hey, its ready to be used when I make my last minute travel plans.

Do you have a need for one of these?

August 9, 2010

The Market Tote

After agonizing over which was going to be my second bag for this book sew along, I went with my sisters suggestion and just chose the next one in the book.  Easy enough, right?  I made my list of needed supplies.  I even put the list in my super gadget phone knowing that it would be easily found.  I went to the store walked in and went to pull out my phone to review my shopping list.  Wouldn't you know it, I forgot my phone!  So much for being prepared with a list.  In the end it turned out for the better.  None of the items I intended to get were on sale (my bargain hunter prowess gets in the way some times!)  SO, onto plan B - buy things that weren't on my list but were on sale!  I like that kind of plan.

Without the needed supplies to make said intended bag, I went back to the fabulous book to ponder over a new #2; now with the full intention of making one with matierials I did have on hand.  So along came the Market Bag.  Its such a  nice roomy bag and super easy to put together.  I did increase the size of the inside pocket - guess I'm learning I have a thing for big pockets!  And I also recycled an old purse to make the faux leather handlee (which I have since changed).  The instructions got a bit fuzzy when it came to putting the outer and lining fabrics together, but I was easily able to put it together after now understanding the process of putting a bag together.  Hey I'm learning!  I'm thinking that in its current state its a tad bit on the boring side, so I do plan on jazzing it up a bit with some beads or buttons, what do you think?

As a recap, this is bag #2 in my attempt to sew my way through Carry Me: 20 Boutique Bags.  The book poses 10 various larger bags (from the practical to the trendy) each with their own coordinating smaller "bag".  Hence 20 boutique 'bags".  I used the word bag loosley for a reason, because after further review there seems to be a few missing "bags", hmmmm.  Perhaps they were lost in translation??  (As an aside, this book was translated from Japanese.  Other than the mis-count, everything seems to be in order.)  So, technically we are down to 16 actual bags and 4 other projects that include a book cover, a zipper flower, a cloth wrapping and a luggage tag. 

However, since I fell in love with the majority of the bags in the book, I have taken it upon myself to sew my way through each bag (and now miscellaneous items) in the book. With the exception of one luggage styled bag since I really don't have a strong desire to search for the needed materials to make it. Who knows, I may change my mind as I work my way through the others. Wish me luck!

Now, which will be #3, or better yet which material to use!  It actually took me longer to decide on the material for this market tote than actually making it! Maybe I'll post some options during the week to get your opinion.


August 2, 2010

Carry Me Tote #1: Belted Bucket Bag

One down and 19 14 to go!  Yes indeed I finished my first bag from the book - so proud of myself.  I actually finished 2 bags this weekend (although one bag was one that I started weeks ago prior to my bobbin winder dying on me).  So now with a Sidewinder and motivation I got a lot done this weekend. 

The first bag I chose to do is called the Antique Print Tote/Shoulder bag.  Its kind of a belted bucket bag.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) it doesn't have a paper pattern so it took a little extra time to measure out each peice.  Ok, confession I have never liked to measure; truth be told I would usually either skip this type of pattern or just round the measurements to suit my needs.  However, in this instance I took the time and actually measured, right down to eighth!

The instructions are good, however not for the beginner as they are not very descriptive and pictures are limited.  Overall a very good pattern; even though I did make some adjustments.  The inside pocket is a little on the small side so next time I'll adjust the measurement so that it can accomodate a cell phone and other such devices.  Since this is a deep bag I also added a side clip where I can attach keys so they aren't floating at the bottom of the bag.  I also adjusted the larger shoulder strap slightly by adding a couple of metal rings at the base of the strap. 

For reference here are pictures from the book of what the bag was supposed to look like.

What do you think?  Ready for the next one?