Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Finishing a Marathon

Well, sort of.  Not an actual 26.2 mile run.  But a sewing marathon.  Yes . . . I just completed a sewing MARATHON.

Several weeks ago (but only 1 post back), I finished my first Fancy Pants Bow Clutch purse . . . my first of 5 purses that I agreed to make for my friend for her bridesmaids to use on the big day.  After completing the one, my progress slowed quite a bit due to some stuff that was a bit out of my control:

  1. I am a full time mom to 2 kids under the age of 5, and 1 in utero (who, I'm told, is going to make an appearance in the next 5-7 weeks).
  2. I work part-time, from home, mostly in the evenings but sometimes during the day (NOT as a sewist).
  3. Because of #1 and #2, most of my sewing time is relegated to my weekends.  One of those weekends I was out of town to celebrate my niece's 7th birthday, and another was spent with some good friends who were in town to celebrate a baby shower (not for me, but at my house).  I am ecstatic that I was able to do those things, but it really ate into my sewing time which means this project got put off a bit longer than I had originally hoped.
  4. I completely wrenched my back and hip last week (I have a theory as to how that happened, not that it really matters), which though it's yet to be corrected (my first experience with a chiropractor is tomorrow) knocked me out for a few days from really being able to sit for long periods of time at the sewing machine.
So yes.  Enough of the excuses and explanations.  Bound and determined and with a very sweet friend (who also sews) by my side, I was able to work on the remaining clutches this weekend.  I don't mind working on my own, but having someone to talk to and encourage me (while intermittently pinning some stuff and doing a bit of ironing) really helped jazz me up to finish.  I am OVER THE MOON to tell you that this project is DONE.
Fancy Bow Clutches - all in a row
Sorry - - the lighting is way off in this picture.  See the previous post for a better representation of the color.

Picture me working on those last few steps of the last purse while the theme to Chariots of Fire plays in the background.  Or better yet . . . picture me doing some rendition of the Anthony Adams pregame warm-up dance as I put that last stitch into place:

Ok . . . you got me.  His belly is a teensy bit smaller than mine right now.  ;)


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bridesmaid Style: Fancy Bow Clutch Purse

I've been married for almost 6 years, and from time to time I think about stuff I would have done differently had I gotten married after I learned how to sew.  (I mostly blame Pinterest!)  Even if I didn't sew my own wedding dress (let's not get crazy!  I got my amazingly talented and generous aunt to do that for me), it still would have been special to sew up some stuffs for the special ladies in my bridal party.

Hold the phones everyone . . . I had seven bridesmaids!  Maybe something small would have been in order.  Geez!  Even in my imagination I'm getting stressed out with how much I would have had to make.

Um . . . ANYHOO . . .

Recently, I was asked by an old friend of mine to help her by making something special for her bridesmaids . . . a little thank you gift as well as something useful that they could use on the big day.  We went back and forth a bit on ideas and in the end settled on a swanky looking silver clutch purse (Pardon the late night photo shoot with the less than desirable lighting . . . as usual):

Fancy Bow Clutch Purse
The very thorough (and lengthy!) pattern was written by Constructivism on Etsy.  This was by far the most involved purse I have made to date, but it makes for a very impressive finish.  The bow is not something that is "stuck on" at the end, it's actually a sash that is cleverly incorporated into the design of the bag that when pulled back on itself gives the look of a bow.

A few things I had never used before this project:
  • Satin!  I was super nervous to work with it, but it's surprisingly easy to manage.  I'm not saying it's going to be my new "thing", but I'm no longer scared of it.
  • Sunken Zipper.  Her method makes it pretty brainless though which definitely helped!
  • Ultra Firm Stabilizer.  I think that this might be the thing that most sets this project apart from other bags/purses I've made . . . it really gives the clutch some serious structure which makes for a more professional looking end product.
I've got 4 more of these beauties in the works.  BUT . . . I'm taking a break!  ;)

What new skills have you been working on lately?

P.S.  Just noticed that Gen from Constructivism has featured my purse on her Facebook page.  Go give it a like (that is . . . if you like it!)


Thursday, March 1, 2012

My McCall's Toy Sewing Machine

Is it just me, or are you a little taken aback that something from 1992 is considered "vintage"?

Acquired recently for a song, I found this sweet little thing on eBay.  I peruse the toy sewing machine offerings every once in awhile in the hopes of snagging a cute deal.  Plus I was already on there looking for cheap comic book backer boards to wrangle some more fabric (it's starting to get unruly again and between fabric and ribbons I used my previous stash up completely).

I had to jockey a few things around on top of my shelf to make room for her up there, but I'm liking where this is going.
Toy Sewing Machines

In a few months, my birthday will be completely overshadowed by Little Miss' birthday and the birth of my 3rd child (yowza with the timing there, Skooks) . . . but if'n someone wanted to remember to get something fun for me at that time, toy sewing machines are always welcome!  ;)

Any kids' toys you're still in love with now that you're all grown up?  I'm not gonna lie . . . I get a kick out of watching Little Miss play with My Little Ponies.  So much so that this little bit of yesteryear also made its way into my eBay shopping cart a few weeks ago:
My Little Pony Carry Case

C'mon . . . you remember!
My Little Pony Carry Case - Inside

Pardon me . . . I think my age is showing.

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