Friday, 30 March 2012

Sunglasses cases

This week's project has been some more small items.  Sunglasses cases this time, from this book:
Yes, I got two new bag books in a week.  Both are fantastic - lots of patterns and ideas, good instructions, some different things.  I just loved the sunglasses pouch in this one and knew I would have to make it.  So I did - or, more accurately, I made it 5 times:
I really had fun with choosing interesting pieces of denim for this.  How about the back of this one - what a cute flower from these little girl jeans:
And I loved the decorative stitching on this one too:
I had great fun choosing lining fabric too.  I used more of the curtain samples I was given.  There were some gorgeous fabrics - and the pieces were not large enough to line bags, but there was plenty to line these cases:
I'm thinking of making more lined pouches - some by adapting this pattern, and some using the various other patterns I have.  Small items are often bought by people who won't spend the money on a large bag - and these were very satisfying to make.
I have to say though, on my wish list is a press to add studs!  Sewing poppers is really tedious...!

I'm sharing this on the following link parties:
Creation Corner
Sew Darn Crafty

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Striped tote bag

The idea for this came from these instructions. Mine are different dimensions; my denim stripes were 6" wide and the bag width was determined by the length of the pieced strips!  I only used three strips of denim so ended up with a smaller bag.  I think they work well, though - and they were fast to make.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

More pocket purses

I've been playing around with pocket purses this week.  I sold a few at Letchworth, and they are quick to make and use up parts of the jeans which otherwise get thrown away.  I'm enjoying using them in different ways; each purse is unique.  The shape tends to be determined by the amount of usable denim around the pocket as well as the size of the pocket itself.
 Small semi circular purses.  Probably the most forgiving shape!; these work well with children's jeans as well.

Square or rectangular purses.  These are the smallest; I may play with this idea and see if I can attach some to keyrings as well. I have some tiny zips from my latest Ebay order, and I think I could make some fun key coin purses with them.  I just need to get hold of some more split rings.  Ebay, here I come!

 Half ovals.  These are as easy as the semi-circles, but better from adult rather than children's jeans.
This was a rounded rectangle.  It came out really well; I will experiment with this again.  It looks very smart.

So that's another 10 of these little purses to add to the stock.  Hoping they sell well - they are satisfying and quick to make and, I think, quite unique.
Shared on the following link parties:
Sew Cute Tuesday
Ta-da Tuesday
Take a Look Tuesday

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Shoulder bag

Sorry for the lack of posts.  Teaching has rather got in the way of sewing this week.  However, I have lined up some posts to appear this week, and at the end of the week we start our Easter holidays - I am hoping lots of sewing will take place during the two weeks of no school!
This weekend I have done some sewing, despite the gorgeous weather we have had.  Stocks of denim had run very low, but I have had several donations this week, so more bags could be cut out.  One pair of jeans (and some curtain offcuts) yielded two of these bags:

The pattern for this came from a wonderful book I received this week:
I'm inspired by so many of the pattterns in this book, but this was my first choice.  I did make some adaptations to the pattern.  As these are recycled bags, I didn't want to use the hardware suggested in the book (swivel hooks, with which the handles are attached).  I also missed out the internal pocket.  One of my versions has a back pocket on the back panel, which I am quite pleased with.  I will be making more of these I think - they sewed up very quickly. The only difficulty I had was that my sewing machine was not too happy with the multiple layers of denim as I attached the lining to the main bag.  I managed to break two needles making the two bags.  Not so good.  The denim I was working with was very thick, which probably accounts for the problems.
Kay's blog can be found here.

I am sharing this post on the following link parties:
Nifty Thrifty Things
Craft schooling Sunday
Sew darn crafty

Monday, 19 March 2012

A collection of owls

Posting these to have them all together.  Tutorial to follow for the second owl bag.

Still to come - owl coin purse and baby owl bag.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Sale today

Well, it was a little disappointing I have to say.  I sold very little - only two bags, though lots of purses and phone cases.  Made about half what I would hope to - but that will still make a difference to the children in Utange.  I like to think of it in terms of children, and the amount I raised today should feed 25 children for a month, or 2 children for a year.  That makes it feel very worthwhile.
I was pleased with how the stall looked, and thought I would share some photos of that.
The whole stall
Main table
The rails on which most of the bags were displayed.
Purses and phone cases
Some of the owl phone cases
The main display of owl phone cases.  I was really pleased with this - it is a metal Christmas tree decoration from Ikea, and I think was just right for displaying the owls (and a few other things!)

Friday, 16 March 2012

Purse designs

Well, I'm not going to get any more items finished before my first fair of the year tomorrow.  Thought I would just share with you the little purses I have made over the last few days. 

I put them out in the boxes earlier today - I have a lot of stock at the moment!  Hoping to take some photos of my stall tomorrow when I get it all set up.  It's a new venue and I have lots of bags which I have not offered for sale before, so I am really hoping it goes well. 

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Puffy coin purse

I've been running up lots of coin purses, supplementing my dwindling stock of jeans with lovely curtain samples.  Here are some results:

This is a little purse which has a darted body, so sits quite neatly.
First cut your fabrics.  I used denim for the top, 2" x 5".  I used scraps of curtain fabric for the zip ends and a semi-circle with the darts cut out for the body.  My zip was 4" long.

First sew the darts together.

Stitch the zip ends on, trim to the same width as the zip, and then add the top panels.
Trim the zip ends to the same length as the top panels.  Stitch the top panels to the straight edge of the body pieces:
Fold in half and stitch all the way round, then turn the right way in.
Really quick and easy to make, and useful little purses for those odd coins, or maybe for a lipstick or two.
I'm sharing this at the following link parties:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Pencil case

I am restocking small items at the moment.  More to come as I received yesterday a new supply of small zips.  I love Ebay!  I like to include items of a wide range of prices on my stalls, so I do make lots of small items which are easy and quick to produce.  These pencil cases are an example.  They are unlined, and made of scraps.  These are from 3" squares - the pieces of the jeans which are left over from projects using long strips or larger squares.  I'm pleased with how they came out, and they are cheap enough for children to afford - and for Mums not to worry about if they get lost!
 (Blogger is doing something weird - I swear this photo is the right way up on my files, but I can't get it to display properly here!)

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Small tote bag

I've had fun playing with today's design.  It was based on this tutorial from Poppyseedfabrics, but I have really played around with it, as you can see.  Basically I took much of the method but altered all the sizes.  This is a small tote bag / handbag, with tiny pockets outside (could be useful for storing shopping lists, I'm thinking).  I used up lots of scraps of denim (4" square pieces, 12 on each side), and the pockets and lining are made from some of the curtain samples I was given. The only bought material was the webbing.

I'm sharing this on the following link parties:
Sugarbee crafts
Mommy by day
Reasons to skip the housework

Monday, 12 March 2012

Coin purse keyrings

More small projects today.
In my stash of zips (all recycled, passed on by a colleague from school) I found half a dozen really short ones - about 2 1/2" long.  My mind churned over what I could make from them, and I came up with this: a small purse on a keyring, ideal for holding those odd bits of change for the car park or the shopping trolley:
If you would like to make one yourself, here's how I did it.
You will need a short zip, two circles of fabric (mine were 3 1/4" diameter), a split ring, and three scraps of contrast fabric 2" x 3" or thereabouts.

First sew the contrasting fabric onto the ends of the zip.  I first sewed the sip and fabric together with the right side of the fabric and the wrong side of the zip facing:
then folded the fabric over and top stitched:

Fold the other piece of contrast fabric in half lengthways and press.  Then fold the long sides to the middle and press again.  Finally fold in half the other way, hiding the raw edges.  This will make your tab.  Put the tab through the split ring and stitch onto one of your circles.

Trim the contrast edges of the zip binding at a slant.  The top folded edge of mine measured about 1/2".

Using your zipper foot, stitch the zip to one of the circles:

Then repeat with the other circle.  This was the most fiddly part!

Change back to your normal sewing machine foot. Put the split ring and tab inside the circles and stitch all round the open side, sewing across the contrast fabric on the zip at a slant.  Make sure you have opened the zip before you do this!
Finally, turn the purse right side out.
 Hoping these will be seen as useful!

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Sunday, 11 March 2012

Small projects

I used up a lot of small pieces of fabric yesterday on these projects. Both came from free tutorials I found online.
The first was these little tissue pouches. These were super-fast to make and I am really pleased with how they turned out.  There are loads of tutorials for these online and, to be honest, I can't remember which one I used now!

The second project I completed was ten of these little button pouches. I adapted the tutorial in all sorts of ways to suit the materials I had. Very pleased with the results. Also pleased to have mastered using my sewing machine to sew on the buttons.
 Haven't photographed my third project yet, which was some pencil cases.  That one can wait for tomorrow - might even manage some instructions as well!

I'm sharing this post at the following link parties:
Sew Many Ways
Nifty Thrifty
Family Every After

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Belinda Bag

It has taken me a few days to complete these, but now that I have I thought I would share them with you.  The pattern is the Belinda Bag, designed by Helen Coverley who is a regular tutor at Tudor Rose Patchwork where I attend courses.  It is a lovely bag to make, and, I think, ideal for denim recycling.  An added bonus in this case is that I lined them with Kenyan fabric.  Whenever Debbie goes to Utange I ask her to buy me some fabric.  This, I believe, curtain or furnishing fabric and seems to be linen.  It is lovely to sew with and a great weight for larger bags.  It is also incredibly cheap!  Can't wait till Debbie returns with further supplies for me in a few weeks.
Anyway, here are my three new Belinda bags:

I'll be offering these for sale next weekend at the Green House, Letchworth if you are anywhere near!

I'm sharing this post at the following link parties:
Six Sisters' Stuff
 Sew Country Chick
Serenity You
Bacon Time