Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bag Blues

My latest working project is a self-drafted denim bag from my daughter's worn out or now too little jeans.  Below are pics of the front and back.  Pockets are taken from the jeans as is.  I'll be using belt loops as the loops for holding the bag handle--a tortoise shell purse handle bought from Jo-Ann's.  I had to buy some extra denim from there, as well to fill in gaps or corrections made along the way.  I have 'made up the bag' as I go along.

I have wanted to make a denim bag for a while now, but in my own design.  I actually LOVE handbags and am pretty picky when I go shopping for one in a store.  I usually buy ones that are not faddish or will go out of style with the times.  And I usually buy autumn-colored bags--rich or burnt sienna browns, dark green.  I think I own only 1 black bag.  I'm not a huge black/white/gray fan.

I am pretty excited now about the idea of re-purposing clothes into bags.  Getting the idea from various sources, most notably from my sewing instructor who taught me how to sew and most recently from Christopher Nejman who is a sewing guru of making celebrity-type quality bags from your home sewing machine.

And so, yesterday, I took a trip to my local Goodwill store to see what could find to use for future bag ideas.  I was excited to find a long brown suede coat for only $10.  That alone could make about 4 bags easily.  And I found 1 fabric show curtain and a table cloth (see below) to use for linings of bags.  And of course I had to buy some jeans to stock up on cool pockets and worn denim since I used up all my daughter's jeans.

Oh, and take a look at this---a vinyl textured brown jacket I have already started de-constructing for more bag usage:

So, of course, now I'm going to tell you or advise you to seek your local Salvation Army or Goodwill stores and see if you can find some awesome sew-inspiring stuff!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Catching Up

Welcome to the new year and to more sewing!  Since I last posted, I made a holiday outfit for my daughter for a Christmas party she attended.  The top was made from pattern Kwik-Sew 3338--a knit top mostly made with a serger.  See envelope below.  I made view C in size XS which was too small.  I should have made it in Small.

This was the first time I had made anything with a knit.  It was a silver metallic knit at that.  I bought the fabric a while ago from  The pattern is made specifically for the use of a serger.

This was the first time for me to use a double needle on a project to top-stitch around the collar and bottom hem.  That was scary and hair-raising for me!  It takes practice.  I designed and sewed on the above design element because I made an 'oops' on that side when I was top-stitching the collar.  The pattern collar was a little too wide for her so that's why she is wearing an undergarment with it.

The skirt was made from fabric I bought at Walmart that I fell in love with.  My daughter loves grays, black and white.  This fabric is made for making an instant-skirt.  That means the top edge of the fabric was already gathered with elastic and finished off.  The hem was also already finished with a narrow serged edge.  So, all I had to do was pin it on her and cut it in a slender shape which is what she wanted so the waist wouldn't stick out so much under the top.  I serged the one seam and voila, it's done.  The fabric is very shiny with a soft-velour type feel to it so it fit the bill for a holiday skirt.

So, how would you sum up the year 2011 for your own sewing projects?  I think this year is the most I have ever done for on-my-own sewing.  I'm trying to keep a sewing rhythm going so I don't forget skills I'm picking up along the way.  Happy New Year to you!