Saturday, September 17, 2016

Ho Ho Ho and On We ... Snowman :)

This month I'm hostessing the Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew linky party, so you've dropped by at a great time!  ;)   Ho Ho Ho is a fun party for getting organized and prepared for Christmas :)   I've written up a tutorial for a cute (I think!) project for you to try out.  BONUS - there's a prize available, and anyone who posts a project to the linky party is eligible to win it.  It doesn't have to be a snowman bag - it can be a Christmas gift, or a Christmas decoration - think Christmas prep!  :)
The sponsor of this month's giveaway is the lovely Stephanie at Elephant in my Handbag.  She's offering a one-off 10% discount on purchases made during the term of the September link party (00.00GMT Sept. 18 to 23.59GMT Sept. 30) using code HOHOHO - sweet!  The link to the party is at the very bottom of this post :)

The prize for the linky party winner is awesome - thank you so much, Stephanie!  One of you link party uploaders will get this adorable pattern - YAY :)

I decided, for my project, to do something that would work for Christmas, and for the winter season in general.  I hope you like it - I had great fun making it.  The first version was laughable - I had to rejig my measurements and redo it so it wouldn't look ... ummm ... doofy :D

And here he is - a fully lined snowman drawstring gift bag :)  He finished to about 10 1/2" wide x 16" tall - just right for a nice box of really GOOD chocolates ;)  He doesn't take very long to work up - and of course, you can change him up to make him work just right for you :)

Snowman Drawstring Bag - A Tutorial :D  (measurements in inches/Imperial, listed width x height.  Seam allowance 1/4")

- 2 X 11 x 12 outer main (white)
- 2 X 11 x 5 outer accent (black)
- 2 X 11 x 16.5 lining (I used grey)
- 60`` black rattail (I used 2mm) or thin cord
- scrap orange for nose - about 4 1/2" x 2"
- 7 X 1" buttons (I used all black)
- scrap of lightweight sewable iron on adhesive, about 2" x 4 1/2" (I use Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive - Sewable)
- thread - I used white, black and orange
- nose - either draft a carrot nose about 4" long, and 1.5" wide at the fattest end, or you could do what I did - I printed off the pattern from this mug rug, and enlarged it to 125% :)
- a round plastic garbage can or plate
- marking pen of your choice - I use those Frixion erasable ones

Because there so many tutorials available online I'm not going to go into detail about basic drawstring bag construction.  Instead, I'll try to show you how I snowmanified (new word :D) a run of the mill handmade bag to make it more Christmassy and Ho Ho Ho-y :D

Basically ...

Stitch outer accent to top of outer main, for both front and back.

Draft or trace a nose onto the paper side of the iron on adhesive, and iron it (follow directions on package) onto the back of the nose scrap (don't forget that whatever you trace onto the adhesive will be reversed on the right side of the fabric).

On the right side of the outside front, arrange the buttons and nose until they're the way you like them - I mark the placement with a Frixion pen and then attach the buttons and nose on top of the marks.   When placing the face pieces, leave about 2" empty on the 2 sides and the bottom, and about 3" at the top.

Remove the paper backing from the nose, iron it in place then stitch around it with orange thread with a small tight zigzag stitch.  I stitch around it twice for a nice look.  Sew the buttons in place.   You may need to carefully press the front piece a bit if it got any scrunchies/wrinkles while you were working on it.  Mine sure did, LOL.

Stitch lining pieces to outside at the top, press.  I press the seam towards the back on one piece, and towards the front on the other - it helps minimize the bulk at the seam intersection when the side seams are stitched.

Lay your front and back pieces on top of each other, RST (matching the faces at one end and the lining at the other).  Line up the corners of one end nicely.

Place the can or plate at each corner and trace around it.

Pin in a few places so the pieces don't shift.

Trim on the marked lines, then repeat on the lining end.

Layer both pieces again, RST and pin together.  You're going to stitch around the entire piece, leaving 3 openings.  Leave about 3 or 4" on a straight side of the lining to turn the bag right side out. Leave a 3/4" opening on each side seam at the black section for the drawstring:  measure and mark 1/4" and 1" up from the seam where the two front pieces are stitched together.  Do this on both sides.   If you're having a hard time picturing it, look here - step 4.  She measured up 1 1/4" and 2 1/4" from the seam - YOU will measure 1/4" and 1" because we want the casing near the very bottom of the black section, near the face.

Stitch around the entire bag, leaving the 3 openings as above.  Turn right sides out, press nicely, stitch opening in lining closed, tuck lining into bag and scootch and wiggle it around until it's seated nicely, then press it again. My curved seams were very curvy with no sharpies - I guess I didn't press very well, as I see some angles on his chin that shouldn't be there!

Stitch 2 parallel casing lines where the openings are in the black section.  I've marked the openings on either side of the accent piece with pins to make them easier to see when sewing.  If you go to the In Color Order tutorial - steps 11 and 12 explain this nicely.

Cut the 60" of rattail in half, thread each half through the casing in opposite directions, and tie off the ends so they don't escape and hide in the casing :D  I added orange pony beads to the ends of my rattail - just for fun :D  As soon as I added the ties, he ran and hid ... but not very well!  ;)

I hear that snowman like to be outside, but this is ridiculous!  :)

OK - that's it for my tutorial - I hope you like my bag, and I hope my instructions (and links to instructions) are easy enough to understand.  Give me a shout if I've missed anything, or made a goof!  If you make a bag, PLEASE please send me a picture! :)

Speaking of goofs ...  here's my first try at this project - remember I said he was doofy?  It's like he got in line 3 times when Old Man Winter was handing out foreheads.  Silly snowman!  :)

Forehead snowman :D

Before I close off, I wanted to give a shout-out to the lovely sponsors of the Ho Ho Ho linky party - they're very generous to our stitching community, and deserve a big thank you, and a visit!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Tomorrow we're buying a fan ...

because my hot flashes are NUTS!  I have ceiling fans in most of the rooms  upstairs, but down here in the basement I have nothing, and I need to be able to cool down :D  These things are happening all day long, and I practically melt into the bed and pillow when I'm trying to sleep.  UGH!  Then there are the cold flashes, so I alternate between wearing a sweatshirt and then ripping it off, haha.  Fun times!  

A few recent finishes that I hadn't posted yet - most of these have now been packed up ready to go to Blue Hills :)

Retreat bag (I like them better without the frames)  :)

Fun and colourful froggy "use up scraps" zipper bags :)

Pineapple zippy - tutorial here :)  This one will likely be a gift - who doesn't need a purple pineapple zippy?  LOL!

Smurf Eunice bag --- 8.5" tall x 5" in diameter :) Note the Smurf charm (Ebay) - and the fabric was only $2/yard from a Walmart clearance :D  (NAYY)  
Eunice was a new to me pattern - I made her today, and will be making more, but I'll upsize them a bit.   This one was a trial run, and she worked out perfectly - she's actually giftable!  Next time around I'll add a tab at the bottom of the zipper to make it easier to zip and unzip :)  She counts as #23 in my 52 in 16 attempt :D

For Labour Day weekend in 2015 hubby and I went to a tractor pull and demolition derby in Port Perry, Ontario - we're going again this year - I do believe we have a new tradition now!  We both love the pulls and demo derbies - I have to remember to take my ear plugs because I'm not quite 100% yet after my accident, and loud noises bother me.  It's going to be a fun weekend - Port Perry is a very pretty little town, and it looks like the weather will be perfect :)

Have fun, and STAY SAFE - don't text and drive, and don't tug on Superman's cape!  ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Duck Duck Goose ... no ... Duck Duck Duck!

Despite many challenges presented by the horrible Lizard Lock downloadable version of this pattern (Burda 7754) I was able to make this little guy for a Christmas present for one of the greats :)  I used a store bought pillow form and I'm going to add some extra stuffing to it so it will fill out the cover more fully, but other than that I'm really pleased with how this guy turned out!  Of course, things didn't go smoothly ...

... yep, during construction I realized that I had stitched the head, 2 feet and tail with the right side facing the zipper side of the pillow :D  Froggy stitching ensued, appendages were rearranged and reinserted, and ...

Burda 7754 - duck pillow face :D

Burda 7754 - duck pillow DUCK BUTT!

Burda 7754 - duck pillow finished :)

Burda 7754 - duck pillow - which is my best side?  ALL of them!  ;)
Now I can cross this item off of the Christmas To Do list!  I like doing theme gifts, so along with this guy, I'm including (NAYY on the links):
- Lemon the Duck book (this page was actually the inspiration for this gift)
- Rubber Ducky (this is still on order - I hope it arrives soon :D)
- 5 Little Ducks board book
- ducky cookie cutter :D

Rubber ducky, you're the one ... you make bathtime lots of funnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn *sings* *badly* :)

And another recent Christmas gift finish ... beanbags!  Here's the bag I made to hold them ... along with the book I bought to go with them :)

Letter bean bags, storage bag and ABC book - gift set :)
... and here are the bean bags :)

Letter bean bags :)
These two gifts are being posted to the Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew linky party for August - I made it just in the nick of time!

And one last quicky - there's a tutorial online that I've seen for a while and have drooled over.  I finally got around to trying it out, and I'm very glad I did!

Train Case - tutorial from Choly Knight :)

It's a "train case", but this one is a simple version - it's made without having to stitch round seams or do intricate stuff - it's basically a boxy bag done easily with strategic zipper placement to give it the traditional train case shape :)  I had a bit of a problem with the thickness of the French seams (used to hide all the raw edges) and I made a few minor changes to the construction (to eliminate the raw edges around the zipper) but overall - WOW.  Useful, cute, and simple - that's a win/win :)  Thank you Choly Knight for the tutorial!  She does awesome fun designs, gives use lovely free patterns/tutorials, and writes books (I have 3 :D) - she's a woman of many talents :)  This project will count towards the New to Me linky party for August, and also as #22 in my so-far-not-very-successful attempt to do 52 new projects in 2016, lol.  

Posting to:
Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew for August :)
New to Me for August :)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Rush rush rush!

Hubby and I are headed Stateside for a wee vacation tomorrow, and I've been running around like a madwoman trying to get things organized and ready :D  My Ho Ho Ho and New to Me post will be short and sweet for July - I have laundry and packing to get done (along with printing off Joanns coupons, LOL) and I still need to finish my USA Shopping List (yes, it has capitals - it's an Important List to me!) :D

First up is my New to Me project for July -- tutorial here :)  This worked out pretty well, but next time around I won't add quilting to the pockets (back and front) AND the bag body - it's too thick, and sinks in to itself a tiny little bit.  I'll quilt the front and back, but not the pockets - that should solve the problem.  It's an easy make, and I have an extra set of strap hardware (that sounds rather fancy, but it's just a D ring and a plastic tri-glide thingy, bought on sale @ Fabricland, lol) and will make another bag when I get back :) This counts as #21 in my 52 in 16 efforts - I need to step up my pace!  21 in 7 months means I still need to do 31 in 5 months - yikes!

Here's a quick finish I threw together yesterday - it's part of a Christmas gift - I sized it for the item that's inside :D  I managed to calculate the right height for adding the name applique - that doesn't always work for me, lol.  

OK gotta run - I have a million things to do!   We're going on a boat tour on Sunday and my brother and sister-in-law are driving down from Osgoode, Ontario to meet us in Alexandria Bay, NY - we're all going on the tour together :)  Mickie and dear sweet Seamus - I'm so sorry that we won't be able to see you this trip - I hope Shayme feels better soon, and we'll come down another time :)

Posting to New to Me for July ... and Ho Ho Ho and On We Sew, also for July (OMG check out Heidi's rug tutorial - totally awesome!) :)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Photography for no particular reason :D

... I'm working on a zipper bag (SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!) today - I got it prepped (up to the 'zipper is installed' stage) and will take it upstairs for some beadwork, which I hope to do tonight.  I thought I'd take a couple of pictures of how I get things packaged to go upstairs - aka process pics :D  Keep in mind I'm in my dungeon sewing room, so lighting is a challenge!

Here are the beads I'm using to embellish the bag.   The glass butterfly bead middle bottom has sharp edges around the holes so I worried that they would shred my thread.  The seed beads (directly above) will go on either end (I have extras there in case I drop a few in the couch, haha) to protect the thread.

 I use tiny little organza bags to keep my little bits and bobs together for sewing projects - I threw the beads in here for their long travel by air up to my first floor :D  Corralled, they are  ;)

I miscut the lining fabrics and had to piece one to make it big enough I made a Design Decision and pieced the lining to include the front fabric - for fun :)  You can also see, top left, a little Japanese cotton ribbon that I stitched on for extra kick :D

 It's a sewing themed ribbon - I think it came from Quilt a Bag in Markham :)
This is my carry case for beading projects - you can see my beads, beading needles, embroidery scissors and thread tucked safely inside :)  

This is the outside of the case - it's an eyeglass case given to me years ago by a friend - it's perfect for crafting projects.  Nothing in it is going to fall out or get lost, and it's cute to boot :)  Thanks, No Blog Chris B :D

I hope that when the recipients get their bags and notice the beading (which is usually very minimal), they're surprised and pleased!

Have a great day - I have aquafit tonight with a friend (hi, Miss Amanda) and her husband (hi, Mr. Tony) ... and I'm trying a new recipe for supper - Black Beans and Rice - wish me luck :D

Sunday, July 10, 2016

More finishes - it's going to be a stash-bustery July :)

First up - Retreat type zipper pouch, made with scraps of basketball fabric a sewy no-blog friend gave me :D  Hey Chris - I used up every inch of the fabric!

Close-up of the zipper pull - a basketball net :D

I really like making these Retreat bags (I prefer them without the frame, even though I have lots of frames!) - this one, although you can't see it, has tiny seed beads stitched into the center of a bunch of those flower patches :)

You've seen me make a pineapple bag before (well, you didn't see me MAKE it, but you did see the finished version, LOL) - when I made the first one it worked out so well that I gave it away as a gift, and kitted 2 more to stitch up.  And now - the 2 more are stitched up, ready to be gifted as well :)  Tutorial here, pattern here :)  What do you think - pink next ... or purple, maybe?

And one last finish to post for now - I follow a site called SewCanShe - each month Caroline's readers pick an "untutorial" that we would like Caroline to write an actual tutorial for - she lets us vote, then when the decision is made, she -- writes up a tutorial!   June's project was a Peek-a-Boo pouch with two vinyl pockets (one with a zipper closure.   I took some liberty with the closure, changing it to a magnetic snap ... which then necessitated me fixing a rather glaring booboo - the ugly back of the magnetic snap was dead center on the outside, HAHA.  A few stitches on a crocheted flower I had in stash - and booboo is hidden :)  See the little Eiffel Tower in the last picture?  That was my first booboo - I cut the holes for the magnetic snap ... in the wrong spot, so had to cover up the hole.  I stitched a little tag over top, and now it's a Design Decision :D  My first new to me for July, and #20 of 52 in my "52 in 16" quest :D

Have a great day - I'm headed to a friend's house for a get-together - I met the two ladies online, in a chatroom!!!, back in '97 for one of them, and '99 for the other.  We've been friends since then, and we try to get together every couple of months :D  Actually we'd get together more often than that, but with 3 couples, 10 children and some greats between us, scheduling is somewhat difficult, LOL!


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