Sunday, August 28, 2011

End of summer finishes - just a little to share

What the heck? It's been ages since I've posted. We went to the Lair for a week and got thoroughly sunburned, rested, hiked, swimmed, cocktail partied (camp style), campfired, sang, boated, visited, and generally had a great time. As usual - it was our 5th year at the Lair and the magic still burns for the whole family.

We're rebuilding our garage - a somewhat slow but steady project this summer. "We" includes a contractor who has done most of the work. But we spent much of this weekend painting primer on all the new walls and interior ceiling.

School is starting tomorrow for Teen Wonder and Wild Thing. And I'm just the kind of mom who braves the craziness of OfficeMax and Kohl's and Old Navy just the day before school starts. Because it just always seems to work out that way. What up? I was never an all-nighter kind of college student, I hate being late...but for some reason it never hits me until the last minute that summer is ENDING. TOMORROW. yikes.

And in concert with all this, my crafty refuge in the basement is occupied by bicycles, sleeping bags and packing boxes, and piles of torn jeans and T-shirts for memory quilts all dumped on my sewing table by my loving children. I should be damned proud I have anything at all to post on this blog, dammit!

So, #1 Finished Object for your viewing pleasure - a project that was officially a knitting project on my list, but which turned into a sewing project - the "Corded" inspired handbag:

It's made from Noro Daria yarn that I found a couple of years ago in a sale bin. My mom asked me "what do you make with a yarn like this?"  Fair question, as it is more like a string or cord than yarn. I guess the only other thing I would think to make is a belt - but the colors say bag, not belt, to me.  Anyway, there is a free pattern for a small clutch called "Corded"  by Grumperina. The pattern uses 1 hank and I had 2, so I thought I'd make something a little bigger. Heh. That was probably my first mistake.

This handbag looked like a limp biscuit when I finished knitting it.

So I knew I'd need to at least line the thing.  But I decided to construct a separate lined zipper bag and a flap lining and sew them in.  The bag shows through the knitted fabric, so I figured a simple lining would not suffice. And I wanted more stiffness, so I interfaced both lining and bag pieces of dupioni silk.  Stitching them into the knitted bag was the trickiest part. In fact, I need to undo and re-do the bag stitching part because my knit and fabric bodies didn't line up all the time and the stitches didn't hold on the front top edge. Poor sewing quality - shape up!

Although the zipper bag has good body and holds quite a bit, this is a highly impractical bag for me personally due to the loose knit fabric and the stitching holding it all together.  I generally need something more durable because I'm not girly enough for dainty items and forget to be careful with things that I'm carrying around or wearing. But I took it to a party last night and got compliments immediately, so maybe it's worth it.  I do love my little button detail and the strap I managed to squeak out of my scrap of Daria that I had leftover (just a crochet chain stitch cord). So officially, a success story - all stash materials and at least one successful public appearance.

Next FO is another attempt at the zippered bag I made before with denim but wasn't entirely happy with - this time I used a dupioni silk for the body and a different cotton print and lining. But I attached the contrasting top band after installing the zipper this time to reduce the bulk at the zipper seams. I like this much more.

I want to make at least one more, so I'm thinking of a tutorial. Like a real live tutorial with better photos and maybe a .pdf. The bag was constructed combining elements from the "Gathered Clutch" and "scrappy make-up pouch" tutorial both from Ana at Noodlehead. I love her tutorials so much and have used these free tutorials several times now, so I am feeling that I want to buy a couple of her bag patterns now - the 241 and the brand new "Go Anywhere Bag".  I will be sure an blog about them when I do. There are so many free bag patterns out there, and several in craft books and magazines that I already have, but I learn so much from these tutorials that it seems like a win-win to actually pay her for some patterns!

Anyway, here are the materials I have set aside for another of these gathered pouches.  When I can come up for air one of these days, hopefully with a new camera that I begged asked for as a birthday gift this week, I will attempt an actual tutorial for this little bag. Meantime, I have enough little projects to send off for my PIF projects, so I need to get on top of mailing those out.

 Happy first day of school (to us)!! - I hope you are all safe on the east coast, my friends, and wish all of you a great week!

9/2 edited to add to Whoop Whoop Friday at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Because I never have a post ready in time for Friday...I thought I'd link up a few days late!

8/31" edited to add the Link-up party at Tea Rose Home - go check it out! oh and happy birthday to me!


  1. Love how the corded bag turned out! The buttons are the perfect embellishment.

  2. This Corded bag is gorgeous. It makes a perfect evening bag!!! Happy Birthday for the other day.

  3. The knitted bag is just gorgeous! What a beautiful and elegant solution to the limpness of a knitted bag!

  4. Janet, your bags are gorgeous, but especially the corded one!! What a neat finish!! And I can't wait for your tutorial on the other bag. I'm so glad you linked up!! Whoop whoop whoop!!!