I’ve seldom been as excited for a new sewing book release as I was for this one: Lisa Lam’s A Bag for all Reasons. I mentioned not too long ago that I only recently began to execute her actual patterns; however, her technique tutorials have been useful to me for a long while. The vast majority of the twelve projects in this new book appeal to me. Actually, every single one has something I love or a technique I want to learn. This bag, The Access-All-Areas Pouch, was my first undertaking from this publication — I just made it this past weekend.
I chose this project first because I was interested in the recessed top zipper, which employed a technique that was new to me. Continue reading
Our sewing book club’s selection for May was Lunch Bags! from Stash Books. I like these Design Collective publications — each pattern is by a different author (usually an Etsy seller and/or blogger), so you get lots of variety. I’ve had this book since soon after its release, but it is not one of the many that sits idle on my shelf. (OK, shelves.) Even before we chose it for the meeting, I’d completed four of the twenty-five projects, and a couple of those I’d made multiple times. The last one I completed before we met was the contribution from Elizabeth Hutton, the drawstring lunch bag entitled “It’s a Cinch,” seen below in its natural habitat:
It’s rare that I need to pack a lunch for myself, but any of the little bags in this book are awesome for all kinds of other things too: suitcase organization (bag o’ socks!), gift bag, shoe sack, snack or activity bag for road trips, crochet/knitting project tote… Continue reading
Last week, I posted a tutorial showing how to trim the top of your tote with corded piping. Today, we’ll follow a similar process to install rickrack.
Is it possible for a project containing rickrack to have a modern, un-vintage feel? My hunch is yesmaybe, but I know that’s not when I tend to reach for it. I like a lot of diverse styles at different times, but one style of print I find myself drawn to repeatedly is floral feedsack/floursack. When I use those fabrics, or others heavily influenced by an era-gone-by, I often consider embellishing with rickrack.
People do all kinds of things with this humble little garnish… Continue reading
I did not hit the sewing ground running when it comes to adorning my creations. I think I was intimidated for a long time — I didn’t know what to use where. I called myself liking a clean, uncomplicated style, which I now realize isn’t necessarily a conflict with trims when they’re used correctly. (“Correctly” in this case meaning nothing more than the way I like it.) There’s no question — I still come across a lot of fandangles that absolutely stump me. But now, if an embellishment appeals to me, I’ll figure out how to make it work.
Unequivocally, my favorite trim is piping. I like it in a solid color or any variety of print, with cording or without, delicate or chunky. And now that I know about that awesome way to make it from scratch, I doubt I’ll buy it pre-made again. (Well…not often.) I also adore rickrack and the perfect vintage feel it brings to its host project. In this post and in part 2, I’ll walk you through the process of using either of these on the top edge of your next tote.
For the purposes of these variations, I copied the dimensions of a small- to medium-sized gift bag, one of those paper ones you can usually get for a dollar. Not only will a homemade original be way cuter than those, but it can be used for gifting approximately a bazillion times, assuming the gift recipient is willing to pass it on. :~)
The finished dimensions are 10″ tall x 12″ wide (at top) x 5″ deep (at bottom). Continue reading
Last year about this time, my parents started a small chicken operation (9 hens + 1 rooster at last count). Consequently, they keep me flush with the best eggs I’ve ever tasted. Plus my veggie peels and scraps go to a very good cause!
I pinned this a couple of weeks ago, and I still have every intention of trying it as written. (I’ll report!) But this time, my overflowing stock of eggs led me in a different direction. This wasn’t much of a stretch for me since I already like to put avocado on my egg salad sandwiches, but this treatment makes it cohere better. Avocado slices are damn slippery and never stay in place. (Uh-oh, my neuroses are starting to show. #284: I like a well-behaved sandwich.) Moving on.
This was quite a tasty concoction… Continue reading
Sizing magic! The most impactful way to customize your tote is to adapt the size. This simple change takes the same shape from a tiny party favor bag to a large shopping sack. In this episode of Rock the Tote, I’ll show you a few size variations and provide you with easy equations to tweak your next tote to perfectly fit its contents.
All of these bags are adaptations of my Rock the Tote: Basic Recipe. Please refer there for the full instructions — only the modifications are outlined here.