Saturday, June 4, 2011

Week 21 - A New Purse

I am always on the look out for the perfect purse.  I have yet to find it.  They are either to big, to small, not enough pockets, the wrong fabric or just plain UGLY.

This week I decided to try to make myself a new purse.  I had picked up the Fiona Handbag pattern from Jenna Lou sewing patterns a while back and decided to give it a try
One of my purse requirements is that it zip closed at the top.  I am always trowing my purses down in the car or at home and I don't need all my stuff falling out all over the place.  This bag looked like it could be the answer. 

The pattern was simple - only 3 pieces - and the directions pretty easy to follow. 
It went together pretty easily, though I will admit I had a some trouble getting the point in the front to meet correctly.  In the end I was able to make it work.  Bag is lined and the zipper was easy to install with the directions provided. 
I added two pockets to the inside.  One side has a single pocket and on the other I sewed smaller slots so my pens don't get lost in the bottom of my bag.
I am happy with how the bag turned out.  However this isn't my perfect bag
I didn't use a heavy enough interfacing on the top part of the bag, so when I carry it the whole things slouches funny.
It doesn't have a flat bottom, so when I set it down it falls over.  It also isn't big enough to hold all the junk that I carry with me. 

I am also working on making myself a new backpack using the Cruzer & Little Cru pattern by Mackerilla Design.
I am using some fun printed canvas that my mom had in her stash from the 70's.  I hope to have it done by next weekend so I can take it with me on my trip to Santa Fe.

I Want My Washing Machine Back!!!!!

Three weeks ago I made the mistake of trying to wash a rug in my washer. 
At first they thought it was a simple fix of cleaning out the drain line.
 I guess it was like the straw that broke the camels back, because it turns out I killed the drain motor on the poor thing.  I am sure that it was already pretty gunked up from all the fabric I have washed, all the sweaters I have felted and 7 years of family laundry.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this washer.  My mom bought it for me when back when we found out I was pregnant with Ran (almost 7 years ago) and it has served us well since then.

Unfortunately, after three weeks with no washer the dirty laundry is REALLY starting to pile up.  I have made a few trips to my parents house to use there washer, but that hasn't helped much with the build up.  Once we get the thing fixed, I will probably have to spend a week solid doing laundry to get caught up.

Week 20 - Monkeys for my Monkey

Ran: Mommy, can you make me a monkey?
Mom: I sure can!
Ran:  Mommy, can you make me another monkey?
Mom: I can.
Ran: Mommy, can you make me clothes for my monkeys - a tutu for the girl please?
Mom: Yeah.

Once again, thanks to the fabulous patterns from Dolls and Daydreams I was able to make my sons requests come true.

I originally bought her Monkey Softie Pattern to make for my cousin Lily for her first birthday (don't worry Heather - she will still get one!).  When Ran asked for a stuffed monkey I figured I would give the pattern a try.  It was just as wonderful to make as the Russian Nesting Dolls.  Just like with the other dolls, the face is hand sewn onto felt and then appliqued onto the head.
I made his first monkey using some cotton and felt from my stash.  Once she was all done I discovered the mistake that I made.  The cotton I chose for the body is not a tight enough weave, so the stuffing pokes through here and there (like when the feathers poke out of a down jacket!).  Thankfully Ran either doesn't notice or doesn't mind

The second monkey I made (the boy) I used flannel.  It worked perfect and is nice a cuddle to.

 These guys have gotten tons and tons of loving from Ran.  For the first week he didn't go anywhere without them, even took the girl to the park the first day.  As you may be able to tell from the photo above the felt has gotten a bit funky.  I used the cheap poly felt that I had in my collection.  I think for the next round of critters I will get some better quality felt that won't get all pilly.  Ran said he doesn't mind, so I will try not to fret over it.  I guess it just gives them a well loved look!

Next he asked for some clothes for his monkeys (Chunk-a-monk & Hunk-a-monk).  In particular he asked for a tutu for the girl monkey (Chunk).  Hubby found the tutu request a little funny, but I love that he wants to dress his girl doll in girls clothes!
Skirt, Top and Scarf Dress Up Doll Toy Clothes PDF Sewing PatternWaistcoat and Shorts, Dress Up Boy and Girl Doll and Stuffed Toy Clothes PDF Sewing Pattern
Thankfully there are already clothing patterns at Dolls and Daydreams that fit all her stuffed creations perfectly.  
For the tutu I attached two layers of tulle to the bottom edge of the top, instead of making a separate skirt.  Ran loves that the boys top has real pockets!  The dress and the top both have a Velcro closure. 

So, there here is the result of my monkey making week! 
Ran is now asking that I make him a baby monkey for these two - I think I might try to scale down the pattern and see how it goes.

Week 19 - A Birthday Present

First, I must confess that this 52 week challenge seems to have turned from me trying something new each week, so simply me making a necessary item each week.  This week was no exception.
On May 24th my amazing, fabulous and beautiful niece Marczella (and my namesake) turned 1!!!
They all live down in Miami and since traveling from Detroit simply wasn't an option for us this year, I wanted to make her something wonderful.

I decided to use this adorable pattern I found by Sarah of Dolls and Daydreams 

When I first saw her Babushka Matryoshka Russian Nesting Doll Pattern I knew that was the perfect gift!  I remember playing with my Russian Nesting dolls when I was a child.

The pattern is in pdf form, so you can start working as soon as you buy it over her Etsy shop.  The pattern was super super easy to follow, with wonderful photos and great descriptions of each step. 
It is also a wonderful way to use of some of the fabric scraps you have building up.

The mama doll has two pockets for the daughter dolls to nest into.  Their faces are felt with the features hand sewn and then appliqued onto the body.

The smaller dolls have little aprons and ribbon extras.  There are plenty of ways to accessorize these beauties with bows, flowers or buttons.  I chose not to since they are a gift for a 1 year old. 

So, if you get a chance you must pop over to Dolls and Daydreams and check out all her patterns and her wonderful blog!

While I was making these girls Ran asked if I could make a monkey.  I also bought a adorable monkey pattern from Sarah, so I was all set to go, which leads us to the next post - A Monkey for my Monkey.