The bag that tested my geometry skills…

19 08 2008

I found this lovely piece of Alexander Henry “maxfield” and knew it was just dying to be made into a round knitting bag.

Firstly, look at the repeat in this pattern:

The repeat is HUGE!!!!! Of course I didn’t buy enough either, and was left with barely enough scraps.

Here is my finished project – a bucket bag of my own design, after I saw a womans bag of similar design at a restaurant one day, and drew it out in my palm pilot:

And this is the best part of the bag, which will most likely get seen by noone but me:

Dying to do more…

7 08 2008

After my first round of success with the new techniques, I tried my hand at a few more shirts/fabric…

This was an attempt to make tire tracks on the shirt, but it just comes off as a band – not awful, but not what I wanted – I have to rethink the methodology here:

Next up, I bought some rayon to sew into a few things and test this method on.  Yay for hippie skirts!

A reunion with my fabric stash.

21 07 2008

This is one of those *I can’t believe I’m posting this* posts…

My stash was a total wreck….  It took an hour to find what I was looking for last time I went a-digging.  Really, Really Bad Deal…

So… I decided to clean it up. It took 3 hours, but here is the result.

Well, this is actually about 2/3 of it – the rest is in tubs that don’t fit up on the racks.  I need to take a fabric diet for a bit and use some of this up….

The center is my lycra collection and rayon collection – does it look like I have a thing for rayon batik?  I wish I still had the body to wear the swirly swishy dresses I used to make from that stuff – I even had a mod for the Loes Hinse Barcelona dress so I could use shorter width fabrics – any ideas for what would be good for it now?

See the topmost and bottommost tubs on the right?  They are nearly full of painting red rhinos knits and wovens that I didn’t even remember I had…  Me thinks I need to sell these off soon, as Glitter Glue Princess is getting a bit old for them…  I just wonder if it is better to dye them then sell, or let people have at them as is…  If you have an opinion, please let me know…

I actually started this project looking for my remnant of sock monkeys to make Glitter Glue Princess a pencil case for school (turned out it was under my sewing table – Doh!).  In the process, I found the fabric I made this dress from:

This dress was called “the magic dress” because Glitter Glue Princess told me that this fabric was printed with magic (insert jazz hands here when you say it with a funky flare).  That was 7 years ago…  I’m thinking about making this fabric into pencil cases for Etsy and her friends for school.  In the meantime, I’ve got a sock monkey pencil case to finish…!

So exciting!

12 05 2008

Well, I’ve finally gone and done it. I decided to open up an etsy shop and sell dyed fabrics/bags/shirts. I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer!

See the lovely header? I did it all by myself (I am soooo proud!), and it was quite a challenge, as paint shop pro doesn’t play well with vista on my computer, and kept crashing when I wanted to add the text. I really need to get a different program…. I used one of my favorite shirts for the background.

Of course, it is not populated. I haven’t even had a chance to get out and dye yet. I will definitely post when it comes up and show you some of the lovelies I’m working on for it. Hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks, I’ll have some wonderful goodies to show you all… I’m currently in the process of sewing up a slew of fabric shopping bags for the first dye round. Also bought a bunch of 60″ white kona cotton to dye as yardage and sell.

I also joined the Mad Scientist team on etsy, where we make items with a science twist for challenges, etc. This is going to be fun!

My First Tutorial – Fabric Shopping Bag

8 12 2007

Here are the instructions for making your shopping bags from an existing plastic bag as a pattern. As I mentioned before, I liked the shape of the container store bag for its height and thickness of making the pattern, but any bag will do… This one worked particularly well, as it fit nicely on a 45″ piece of fabric. It was nearly exact, and used a bit less than 3/4 yard remnants.

Cut the bottom seam and handle seams open on your bag, removing the part where the bag is fused. Slit the bag down one side inside the crease. Trace the bag with seam allowances – I used 5/8″ because of the french seaming and double sewing in the handles.

Cut your bag out. You will need both a lining and an exterior. For this example, I’m using the rainbow fabric for the outside and plain blue dye for the inside – this will keep things clear (I hope!).

First, sew your side seams.

Then for the curved part connecting the handles.

Trim them nicely, turn right side out and press.

You will now have a tube with 4 “legs”.

Now, this step is not necessary, but it helps me from ending up with a jumbled mess. Find your handle portions by looking for the narrow curved connector. You will sew together the two legs of the narrow connector (I had to tear out the seams of at least one bag before I had this epiphany). Take the two legs and sew them together on the inside at the edge – doesn’t matter if you pick inside or outside fabric – this is just a sewn tack for when you flip the bag. Repeat on the other set of legs.

Now for the tricky bit. We will now flip the bag so that the right sides of the fabric are together again, like when we were sewing the legs. You will pull the legs through too.

Now, where you tacked the handles together will show up as a round tube.

You are going to sew around the tube, as demonstrated here.

I remember this was always called “sewing around the teacup”, but I can’t remember where I learned that. I sew at 3/8″ and 5/8″, then serge the edge.

Your handle seam will be nice and professional looking when you put the bag back to wrong sides together. Press.

Edge stitch the handles at this point, about 1/4″ from edge.

You should then fold the handles, so that the side will crease, the outside edge being folded underneath. Stitch in the ditch at the top seam to hold them together.

Using your folded handle as a guide, crease the bag portion with a gusset on both sides and press. Sew the bottom of the bag from the outside as shown below at a small seam allowance, appr. 1/4″.

Trim the excess, and flip it to the inside, taking care to keep the gusset folds straight.

Sew again at a deeper seam allowance, appr. 3/8″ in a french seam. Flip your bag back to the outside, and your done!

Initial tests of this bag show that they hold well more than the standard paper grocery bag, about 50% more, most likely due to the size of the original bag used as the template.