Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Briefcase Clutch

I was in the midst of sewing a patchwork bag when this idea of making a briefcase-like-clutch came to my mind. Instantly, I started sketching and figuring out the size for this clutch. Then off I went rummaging through a pile of garbage......well, actually a bag of old clothing. Finally, I found an old jumper with newspaper & comic design. Based on the sketch and material in hand, the look changes slightly as I used the existing jumper's straps for clutch's closure.

I only used the pants part and the straps to make this briefcase clutch. There are pockets on both sides of the clutch which was formerly the jumper's side slant pockets.

For the lining, I used navy gingham. In between the fabrics I added batting for some structure and hand quilted the lining's flap closure.

Free buttons from the old jumper. Yea!

Here's the handle. The most important feature that gives it a briefcase look.....minus the fabric design of course:D. Now the clutch looks playful & childish. Maybe next time I'll work on fabric with solid or geometric patterns. I hope I can finish sewing the other bag. Still can't decide on the shape yet.

Finished size: 9 1/2" (l) X 7 1/4" (h) X 2" (d)

Happy sewing & see you soon.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tea Time Coaster Tutorial

I have this little fabric scraps leftover from making the reversible bucket bag and I thought of making something useful out of it. Something easy and simple to whip. A coaster would be perfect indeed!

Materials needed:
- small amount of fabric scraps for making two 4 1/2" square
- one 4 1/2" square batting
- some scraps for making cup & saucer quilt.
- embroidery floss & needle

Here's how to make one:

1. The finished size is 4" X 4". Draw a square measuring 4 1/2". Sketch a cup and saucer & write 'tea time' on top of it. Hooray...you've just made your template. 

2. Place the scrapes on top of the template until it covers the whole square. When you're satisfied with the layout, sew each pieces together. Now you have a wonky square. * Make sure the size is bigger than 4 1/2" square.

3. Trace a 4 1/2" square using your template. If you own those fancy measuring & cutting tools, use that instead.:) Cut along the drawn lines.

4. Now that you have a neat square, make another one. I'm liking the look of this crazy patchwork.

5. Since this is a scrap busting project, I used leftover batting from previous project. Lay batting to the back of the fabric. Sew the pieces together along the perimeter of the square. Trim off the excess batting.

6. Now we're going to work on the cup & saucer applique. Draw a cup on your fabric of choice about the same size as the one on the template. A rough sketch would do & imperfection is accepted. :) You will have to make separate cut out of the cup, handle, saucer & an oval shape( for the tea inside the cup). Arrange the cut outs on your template.

7. Once you're satisfied with the layout, lay them on the patchwork square.Take out the cup and the oval shape. Pin or baste the saucer & handle in place. Sew along the perimeter of the cup & handle using a simple straight stitch. Then put back the cup & oval shape and sew along the perimeter of each pieces.
Write 'tea time' on top of the cup & saucer using pencil or washable marker. Embroider the word as neat as you can. Mine was a quicky, not perfectly sewn 'tea time'.

8. Place the 2nd patchwork square on top of the quilted one with right sides facing. Stitch a 1/4" seam around the edge. Leave a small opening for turning.

9. Trim the corners & turn right side out. Whip stitch the opening close. If you fancy a neat looking coaster, press it with an iron & top stitch around the edges. That's it! Now your cup can sit on a cool coaster.

Enjoy your cuppa tea :)
Lipton is my all time favourite.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Google Translate Widget Made My Day

I've just added Google translate widget on the left bar of this blog. So now you can read my blog in any language that you like. I hope it will be useful to my visitors from other part of the world. We may be from different continents and speak different languages, but we all share the same love of sewing and crafting.

I was laughing in tears when I read some of my post translated in Malay. I've never done this before as you would only use the widget to translate a foreign language that you can't read. They're actually translating it in Indonesian instead of Malay.

Here are some that really crack me up.....
-Saya tidak punya bulu melebur sehingga saya menggunakan pemukul sebagai gantinya.
-Aku mulai menjahit sejak saya masih kecil. Menjadi dikelilingi oleh nenek dan seorang ibu yang mencintai jahit, aku langsung menangkap bug menjahit.
-Lucky me! Saya menemukan sebuah bantal tua dengan paip kabel dengan panjang yang diperlukan tepat untuk menjahit pada beg tangan anda. :D

You can learn how to add Google translate widget to your blog at Hub Pages.

Have a beautiful weekend!
G├╝zel bir hafta sonu var!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Reversible Bucket Bag - Done!

Here's the finished look of the reversible bucket bag.  Somehow sewing the handles was not as hard as I thought & basting it into place before final sewing prevents unwanted 'accidents'. So miss seam ripper was on a honeymoon :)

On this patchy side, I embroidered Charlie Chaplin's quote.

I like the simplicity on the denim side. I'm sure most of you would prefer the denim look.

The size of this bag is perfect for weekend shopping & I particularly like the long handles. Ample of space for your armpit to breathe :D. I usually make 50cm long handles. The inside does crumple a bit. From my little experience of sewing fabric boxes, if I sew the interior & exterior the exact same measurement, the inside will crumple. But when I reduced the interior measurement about 0.2cm, then I get clean smooth interior. So that explains the unwanted crumple. 

A special thank you to Sue from MyBotang Crafty Corner for organizing this sew a long. Sewing this bag was fun!  To all sew a long members who are in the midst of finishing this bag, keep on sewing :).

Happy sewing & crafting!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reversible Bucket Bag - Work In Progress II

Sorry to have kept some of you waiting to see the progress of my reversible bucket bag. The patchwork kind of slowing me down a bit as I was randomly cutting and patching around the printed images. At first I hand quilted the patches but it ended up looking like too much going on. So I just machine stitch along the patches.
For the denim side, I did not add fusible interfacing as I think the fabric itself is thick enough.

I don't have fusible fleece so I use batting instead.

I reuse the old denim pocket for this bag. This is the easiest one to whip :).

For the base, both sides were interfaced. To avoid mistakes, I baste the base before stitching. 

Here's the button loop. I thought the loop's too chunky but sew it anyway. After sewing together the main bag body, well..... it is the right size for the bag :P

No fabric flower for the button. I use a 38mm self-cover button. I removed the shank and sew the safety pin to the back of the button. The image is printed on a loose weave Indian cotton. It's not really visible up close but can be adored from far distance.

After basting together the lining and exterior bag together, here comes the tricky part.....stitching the binding. As usual, I pin and baste the binding in place and then carefully sew the pieces together. Phew! Well, not that hard actually. The center top edge binding is done!

What is left to do is sewing the bag handles.

I sew together both ends of the bag handles. I think it is much easier to sew the handles to the bag in one piece. I'm stitching the handles today so I'll be posting the finished bag soon.

I sew this mini fabric scrap basket while working on this project. Little pieces of scraps lying around really bugs me. 

Happy day everyone :)
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