Friday, February 29, 2008

Mama's Got a New Bag!

Hey, look, I made a new bag just for me:

It's rather rare for me to make a bag for myself. You usually see me wandering around with a proto-type or minor sewing disaster slung across my shoulder. I splurged on this bag because my ancient messenger bag has been leaving bits and pieces all over town lately AND Craft Magazine and Amy Butler are having a bag-making contest.

I contemplated entering my Sophia Bag, but this Amy Butler "High Street Messenger" pattern was calling to me from my pile of Good Intentions. To better justify this project, I stipulated that I could only buy minimal fabric and everything else was from my stash. Fortunately, I'm a pack-rat and only had to buy the solid curry fabric and supplement my stock of brown twill. I even found the marine hardware I used for a closure in my box of "General Randomness."

I made some modifications to the pattern, mostly by-passing zippered pockets. I trimmed the exterior pockets using Quenna's brilliant faux piping tip.

My favorite part was the patchwork front flap. I used to be a quilter ages ago and this project gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with my loyal walking foot and the joy of hand sewing. I've wanted to participate in Sew, Mama Sew's Quilting Month and just haven't had the time but I think the quilting bug has been reintroduced to my crafty agenda.

All in all, this was a fun project with only a few mis-steps. Of course, thinking about the prize of a new sewing machine kept me going through the hard parts (not that I could say any of these thoughts out loud because, you know, my stalwart Viking was RIGHT THERE!).

P.S. I've been checking out the other entries and there are some amazing bag-makers out there. I don't think my Viking has to worry about being replaced any time soon. That's ok, though, I got a new bag out of the deal!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Experiments with dye

Wow, February is zipping by me at lightening speed! We had the younger kidling's birthday party with a Candyland Theme, complete with a green-screen Candy Tram ride that Chris whipped up in a few days. And we're still reeling from the sugar rush!

Last weekend, through a harmonic convergence of getting caught up with my shop, a well-timed play-date and a technical rehearsal, I had the house completely to myself for 2 hours! So I dug out some natural merino roving I'd bought ages ago and messed around with dying it.

The kidlings and I experimented with Kool-aid dyes before so this time I added Wilton's Food Coloring Gels. I've had these for (literally) years, so some of them were kind of gummy. Next time I do this, I'll go buy some new jars. I used instructions from Keep On Knitting in the Free World and they worked like a charm.

I ended up using Wilton's Brown, Copper, and Kelly Green along with Kool-Aid Lemonade.

Here's half the roving after a good soaking in water with the dyes squirted on with a turkey baster. At this point I seriously doubted my color choices and felt strangely drawn to the idea of spaghetti for dinner. Next up was a few trips through the microwave and drying out in the shower to become this:

I like the colors together but wish I'd used two to three times more dye. I'm excited to spin it up, though, and see what I get!

And finally, I got a lovely award as a "You Make My Day Blog" from Jocelyn! Thank you so, much Jocelyn! (I'm kind of shy when it comes to tagging other people, so it may take a little while to pass along the award.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008


That's how I've been feeling this week for a variety of reasons.

First, I got so many kind and heartwarming compliments on the bag and pattern review I did for Sew, Mama, Sew. Here's the bag:

It's one of Amy Butler's new patterns, The Sophia Carry-All. The pattern review is here.

I also made some new things for my shop, including this flip wallet:

(Aren't the bunnies adorable?)

And this Passport Wallet:

And finally, I made it to a grand's worth of hearts yesterday!

Now I have a hankering for some Pillsbury Doughboy's Grands Biscuits.

How have you been feeling today?