Monday, October 29, 2018

Vera Slouch Bag in Monstera

I 've been meaning to make myself a bag using Cotton and Steel Monstera canvas for quite some time but every time I tried cutting into it I totally got stuck. I just couldn't commit to any one pattern :(. I think the reason for my "stuckness" was that as much as I love this print, deep down I knew it would be a bit too much for me if I were to make a bag using just this one fabric alone.

And then Aly (@mudandthread on IG) used this print together with a solid fabric to make her Melinda Tote Bag and I suddenly realized that's exactly what I should do too.

I rummaged through my stash and decided to combine the Monstera print with the most fabulous Merchant and Mills Oilskin I purchased a while back. I love this fabric. It's water resistant, sews beautifully, and adds a wonderfully polished look to a finished project.

Such a great combo, what do you think? Leather strap and rivets + hardware don't hurt either, of course :)

I used my Vera Slouch Bag pattern and I'm super, super happy with how it turned out. And, it was such a quick make, too. Every time I make this bag I'm surprised at how quickly it all comes together.

This time though instead of my usual magnetic snap closure (what the pattern calls for) I added a zipper to my bag. It was a bit more work, but totally worth is as the rainy season is here and I felt this way my stuff will be a bit more protected.

You can purchase the pattern here in case you'd like to make a Vera of your own.

Thanks for reading friends. Svetlana

Monday, October 22, 2018

melinda handbag (new pdf pattern)

Hello lovelies, how are things?

I'm all giddy with excitement because I get to share my newest pattern with you today, yay!

This is Melinda.

Finished size: 12'' wide x 11'' tall x 5'' deep.

She's a fabulously roomy everyday handbag featuring two large slip pockets on the outside plus one slip and one zipper pocket on the inside to help one stay organized.

I made this denim Melinda for myself a few weeks back and I absolutely love it. I think it's such a classy, timeless design and I just adore the denim, leather, and metal hardware combination.

You don't have to use leather or rivets for your bag though. The pattern includes instructions on how to make your own fabric handles if that's what you prefer, and rivets are completely optional.

I designed this bag with slightly heavier fabrics in mind. Denim, Essex linen, or any of the beautiful designer print canvases would be absolutely perfect for this bag. You could, of course, use quilting cotton as well, you'll just need to add a bit more interfacing for stability (I talk about it a bit in my pattern).

Here's a list of materials you'd need to make a Melinda Handbag of your own:

fabric A (main exterior + strap) – 3/4 yard 
fabric B (exterior pocket + handles) – 1 FQ (FQ measures 18'' x 21'')
fabric C (lining) – 1 yard 
SF 101 interfacing (or other medium weight fusible interfacing of choice) – 2 ¾ yards 
interlining fabric (solid colored denim, duck canvas, or *foam interfacing) – 1/2 yard 
one (1) - 9'' long metal or nylon zipper 
one (1) – 16 mm or 18 mm magnetic snap closure 
two (2) – 1'' wide D - rings 
one (1) – 1'' wide rectangular strap slider
two (2) – 1'' wide swivel hooks 
six (6) – 6-8 mm rivets (optional) 
one (1) - 3/4'' x 1 ¾'' strip of leather for pocket accent (optional)

cutting mat, ruler, and rotary cutter 
Wonder clips and/or pins
disappearing fabric marker or fine chalk pen 
small sharp fabric scissors 
90/14 or 110/18 (jeans/denim) needle for your sewing machine 
leather hole punch + rivet setting tool (optional)

Please note: This is a measure and cut pattern meaning there's no need for templates as the pattern works best when all the pieces are cut using rotary cutter, self healing cutting mat, and acrylic ruler.

♥   ♥   ♥   ♥   ♥

What do you think? I hope you like this bag as much as I do :)

You can now purchase the pattern at my Etsy shop here, and for the next 48 hours (now through Wed, Oct. 24th) you can purchase this pattern at a 25% off introductory price. No coupons needed, the price is automatically adjusted to reflect a 25% discount.

buy this pattern

Happy sewing everyone! Svetlana

Thursday, October 18, 2018

weaving ~ trying something new

I'm a firm believer in working hard and doing one's best but also in slowing down, taking things easy, relaxing, and doing things just for fun. I also think it's very, very important to try and learn new things. I've wanted to explore weaving for quite some time and this past week I finally made it a priority. Oh, it was fun! It feels great to be a beginner. You know, when you still don't know how things "should" be done so you dare to do it your way, when it's totally ok to make mistakes (it actually is always ok to make mistakes, we just put too much pressure on ourselves).

 I pulled out my loom (purchased from here a while ago) and a supply of random yarn, watched a Weaving for Beginners class on Creativebug, and got to work.

I decided to go with very simple stripe pattern using different thicknesses of yarn (inspired by @blanc_laine's beautiful work) and I just love, love, love how it all came together.

I added a long fringe to the bottom and used a 12'' wooden dowel and leather string for hanging.

I love it!

I think it looks absolutely adorable and I'll be definitely exploring weaving more in the future.

How about you? Have you tried something new recently? Or are planning to?

Hope you all have a fun and creative day. Svetlana

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

patchwork potholder (a quick tutorial)

I really, really enjoy sewing up projects for our home so when I realized we needed new potholders I was more than happy to drop everything and get stitching.

I think it turned out quite lovely  :)

I started off with some of my screen printed scraps and a few pieces of Essex linen (my favorite combo), and randomly pieced them together until my patchwork measured about 7.5'' x 8.5''. This measurement wasn't really important as potholders could definitely be smaller or larger depending on one's preference.

I then quilted my patchwork piece to a layer of Insul-Bright to ensure I could use the finished potholder to handle hot things.

 I then trimmed and squared my quilted piece to measure 7'' x 8'' and I did basting stitches all the way around the panel's perimeter to ensure quilting stays in place. I also basted a slightly larger piece of fabric to cotton batting and quilted it as well.

I then placed quilted front and back wrong sides together, pinned, basted, and trimmed off extra backing + batting.

A little note on quilting: as you've noticed I quilted the top and bottom part of the potholder separately. The reason for that was I was using my backup machine with no walking foot and two layers was all I was confident to stitch over without worrying about puckers. You could, of course, layer all four panels on top of each other (backing right side down, cotton batting, Insul-Bright, and patchwork panel right side up on the very top) and quilt through it all at once.

All I needed to do then is add the binding the same way I would add it to a quilt. I first machine stitched the binding to the front and then used running stitch to attach it to the back. And then I added a leather strip + rivet to make a hanging loop. Easy peasy!

What do you think? Pretty fun and quick to make, isn't it?

I'm sure I'll be making more of these pretty soon.

Happy sewing friends. Svetlana

Monday, October 8, 2018

indigo pouch

This weekend, as I was digging through my stash looking for just the right fabric for a simple pouch I wanted to make, I came across my stack of indigo dyed fabric that's been waiting to be used for almost 2 years! Crazy! I love the deep blue color of indigo and enjoy seeing all the beautiful patterns in my little stack very, very much. Every time I pull them out though I start thinking they need to become a quilt which then means I put them promptly back since I don't feel like making a quilt right at all.

So, I finally decided that instead of waiting for my quilting mojo to show up, I'll just be using these lovely prints to make smaller projects instead. 

And I made this quilted zipper pouch, of course.

I started out by basting a panel of fabric to cotton batting and quilting the two layers together. As you can see I only used a few pins to hold them together as I find small projects like this are easy to quilt without much basting.

I used Hera marker to ensure my lines will be nice and straight and quilted the panels about 1/2'' apart (I marked my lines 1'' apart, then added another line of stitching in between the marked ones).

I followed The Essential Pouch pattern (medium size) for this pouch but since I skipped adding a contrasting bottom I simply used cutting measurements for the lining to cut my exterior panels.

I used a beautiful striped linen/cotton blend print for the lining which makes for a wonderfully sturdy pouch. 

This was a quick, but very satisfying project and I highly recommend making a pouch (or two) when you feel like sewing but don't have much time to spare.

Wishing you all a happy and creative week. Svetlana

Monday, October 1, 2018

jelly roll rug

I couldn't resist any longer and hopped on the jelly roll rug bandwagon this weekend :). 

Don't you just love when humble strips of fabric and some batting become a super adorable as well as practical decor? Yep, projects like this are my favorite.

The pattern by Roma Quilts calls for a jelly roll of fabric but I cut my own 2.5'' strips of fabric from my stash since I don't own any jelly rolls. I went back and forth on what prints to choose a lot, of course. I was a bit tempted to go super colorful but in the end I chose a very neutral, mostly low volume color palette as I knew this kind of rug would fit into our apartment the best.

The thing I enjoyed the most was the "yarn" making stage. Such a genius way to combine fabric and strips of batting into one continuous ball of yarn. Pretty cool, isn't it? Seeing these fabulous giant balls of yarn on IG is what actually drew me to this pattern in the first place.

A little note about batting: I joined my batting strips by simply placing the two short edges next to each other (making sure they are touching but not overlapping) and using a zig-zag stitch on my machine to stitch them together (the pattern recommends batting tape which I didn't have on hand). If, however, you're not keen on cutting and joining long strips of batting together, you can now buy rolls of already precut batting. A bit more pricey option, but definitely very convenient.

When starting this project I was a bit worried the rug would not lay flat after I stitched it all together. After all, these strips are not cut on bias and we all know how messy things can get when straight strips of fabric are sewn around curved objects :(

Thankfully though there are quite a few very useful tutorials online providing lots of tips on how to ensure one ends up with a beautifully flat rug. As you can see from the photo above I used the extension table for my sewing machine and I added books all around it to make a large flat surface for the rug to sit on during stitching.

Another great tip was to take the rug off the machine when any waving (or curving) occurred and use hot iron and lots of steam to make it flat. I had to do this a few times and I'm happy to say it worked every time. The key here is not to wait until you finish the whole rug. Press it as soon as any curving happens to prevent more distortion later on.

Here it is all finished. Super soft, squishy, and beautifully flat, yay!

The kitties sure love it :)

All in all this was a super fun and satisfying project and I'll be definitely making more rugs in the future.


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