Thursday, 29 March 2012

Woolly Winter Bag Sling Bag

While the rest of Canada may have been bragging about the unusually warm temperatures and early blooming spring flowers, here in Newfoundland it's still business as usual.......snow, snow, snow.

So even though I have been breaking out my lovely spring fabrics in bright cheerful prints for spring/summer bag making..........

outside it is still cold, snowy and gray.

But I'm not letting it get me down.  Instead I've decided that if old man winter wants to stick it out a bit longer than I'll make the best of it.  And by that I mean making a new bag using soft, warm, and woolly winter fabric!

I just happen to have some woolly hounds tooth fabric leftover from some infinity scarves I made and have been wondering what it would look like as a sling bag.  It's a loose weave fabric and drapes very nicely (hence then infinity scarves).  I have bought the town out of interfacing - literally - and so thought I might get away using it in a soft slouchy bag.

This is a similar but more difficult version of a pillowcase bag like this one from Martha Stewart, but without the little tie on the handle and a full cotton lining.  I love the chocolate brown and teal colours in this fabric and the large hounds tooth pattern is just right for wintry weather.  The loose weave was perfect for this bag as it is meant to look sort of soft and slouchy.  And not interfacing needed! Yay!

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Neglected Blog Project

I have just realised it has been weeks since I posted in my blog!  So today's post is a quick and easy little project using some cute spring fabric to make a key chain.  The best part is it used up some scraps of pretty spring material that would be too small to do much else with.

I bought some hook/key chain like things on my last trip to the big city.  They have a D-ring on one end and the hook thingy on the other end.  The D-ring was about 1.24" wide so I cut 2 fabric strips 1.5" x about 10" long.

Then I attached some fusible fleece the same size to the back of one strip.  Next, I pinned them right sides together and sewed them together leaving a small 3" gap for turning.

I turned it out and with the opening edges tucked in, I pressed and pinned shut the opening shut.  Then I top stitched all around the outer edges sewing shut the opening as I went.  All of this took just 10 minutes!

Then I slipped one end of the strap I had made through the D-ring and stitched the ends of the strap together with two rows of stitching for strength.  Finished!

They were so quick and easy to make that I threw together 5 more and even embellished one with a little vintage rik-rac I've been wondering what to do with.  These can be made any length you like and I actually made one in a camouflage print that could be used as a short lead for training a dog.  It came in handy when I had to use it to retrieve Rudy after he slipped out of his collar and went to play with the dog next door!   I'm also wondering if I could find a way to use them as luggage pulls? hmmmmmm.....  

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Fabric Experimenting With a Spring Infinity Scarf

Spring is on its way!  At least that's the general idea in Newfoundland at this time of year....even if we can't actually see it happening yet.  And so with spring in mind I headed to a fabric sale on a recent trip to St. John's.

I almost always work with cottons or wool blends to make my bag and wallets because they are easy to work with, wear well, and come in a huge variety of colours and prints.  But when I laid eyes on the huge room of sale fabrics with nothing over $5 a meter, I thought it would be a good opportunity to try working with something different.

So after an hour (or so) of perusing ALL the huge bolts of various fabrics, I settled on two soft, drapey, lightweight synthetic prints with the idea of trying my hand at a spring infinity scarf.  At $4 a meter how could I go wrong?  If it turned out, great.  If not I was only out $4!

I have a knitted infinity scarf that I got as a Christmas gift so I made a few quick measurements, adjusted them for my lightweight material to get a bit more volume, and then got to work.  I used a bold black and white floral print with textured grid lines for the first scarf.  Laying the fabric out for cutting was a bit more difficult than usual as the fabric was more slippery and harder to line up on the cutting board than cotton.  But with a bit of fussing I got there in the end.

Once lined up I cut a rectangle which I then folded along its length (right sides together). This formed a very long skinny rectangle.  Normally I would pin in place before sewing but the fabric was so slippery it didn't stay in place even with pinning.  Instead I just stopped every 5 inches or so and lined up the edges as I went.  Then I sewed the tubular ends together.

This whole process took me about 20 minutes and involved nothing more than cutting and sewing straight lines. Result!

The finished scarf is soft and has a lovely drape to it.  The lightweight fabric is perfect for those spring days when it's too warm for a bulky wool scarf but still cool enough to need something to keep you warm. And it looks great too!  I'm very pleased with my scarf and am now wondering......

Is that fabric sale still on?

Black & white floral textured fabric

Blue & green geometric pattern fabric