Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Sophia Carry-All

Maybe some of you have worked on a project with this tiny gnawing feeling in your tummy that something is not going to work out, and that you really should do it the way YOU think is the right way, but you don't. Then you finish, and you look at it and think: "I wish I had "insert solution here". See, back when I made my Weekender Bag, I also fell for its little companion in this photo. There was no pattern for it yet, and I wasn't feeling the need to just figure it out on my own. A year and a half later, the pattern for the Sophia Carry-All becomes available and I'm super excited. It's the bag! I've got some gorgeous vintage linen in my stash, lining too and I'm hitting JoAnn's to get the interfacing. Here's my first problem. Both JoAnn's and another fabric store I check have Thermolam Plus, but it's not fusible (like the pattern says). The product called fusible fleece is not fleecy at all, it's more like a very thin version of Timtex. I ended up using the non-fusible Thermolam, only to find out later that there are two types of this stuff. 970 is what I'm using, 971F is what I should be using. But the whole time this little thought is gnawing away, saying, you really should be using Timtex (that heavy stuff that makes my Weekender Bag looking so sturdy and neat), because really, I want that crisp bowling-ball bag look from the picture, not the squishy smooshy look of the bag that is staring at me from the pattern envelope. But of course I'm so wrapped up in sewing, I'm not listening. But I wish I had. So here's the bag,

and before you say that it's fine, here's a better picture to illustrate the smoosh:


Not at all what I wanted, and I just have myself to thank for that. I just have to put it away right now, because I'm not in love. Unlike my Messenger Bag, which, despite its lack of cuteness, loves me right back by being so sturdy and useful. Or maybe I just need to get rid of the initial expectation, and accept it for what it is, and not what I wanted it to be (man, I think all those self-help books are finally paying off!)

Pattern: Sophia Carry-All by Amy Butler
Fabric: vintage midweight decorator's linen from my stash. It was a bit smaller than the suggested yardage, but I've found that if you use your own pattern arrangement, you can often get away with getting less yardage. The lining came from some scraps of silk wool. I cut the fabric for the piping on the half bias to save some more fabric, it worked just fine. Sewing this took almost as long as the weekender, the piping on the bottom part is difficult to handle.
Mods: I used a regular zipper instead of a purse zipper (which I couldn't find anywhere and didn't feel like ordering.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Let the sun shine on me

In the past few weeks, life has thrown me some of the bad, the ugly and the just plain weird, but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and mine is slowly getting brighter by the day. Yesterday was my birthday, and though I'm usually a bit mum about it, I decided to fully enjoy myself, with all the bells and whistles. I haven't done much crafting lately, but there are still a couple of things that got done a while ago, but haven't been blogged about yet. First off my sunhat:
I don't even remember anymore when I actually finished this (a year ago?more?). But it was even longer from conception to completion. It all started out with Vogue pattern 7600, version A. Looks simple enough. But the crown part of the hat ended up having this ridiculous shape, sort of like a shortened bishops hat maybe. I couldn't figure out how to fix the existing pattern piece, and designing a new crown seemed to be a little over my not so math loving head. Enter my best crafting buddy yaiAnn and her wonderful mom. As we were fidgeting around with elongated triangular shapes after realizing that six individual sections (sort of like a beach ball) would make a better fit, y's mom donated one of her gardening hats for us to take apart. After making individual adjustments, each of us managed to get a perfect fitting and nicely looking crown for our noggins. I truly love this hat. Its wide brim, which is lowered in the back, is perfect for keeping my face and shoulders from getting sunburned and for making me feel like a Bloomsbury Lady and Paddington Bear at the same time. It's perfect for travelling, you can just smoosh it into a bag, and remold it into desired shape when you put it on.



Pattern: The brim from Vogue 7600, the crown from 6 individual segments.
Fabric: Plain medium weight cotton from my stash, interfaced brim, crown is lined with lightweight cotton.

On the knitting front, I just got the new Rowan Studio 8 booklet. There are some beautiful designs, my favorites being the textured cardigan, long waistcoat, flared jacket and double yoke jacket. Just until a few days ago it was still very cold here, and despite the welcome warmth and sunshine I still feel like knitting warm stuff.

Also, I wanted to thank the wonderful crafters queenofthefroggers, yaiAnn, a Mingled Yarn, knits, notes, etc., poshyarns and Nonnahs who have given me a "you made my day award". Thank you so much for enjoying my blog and putting up with my irregular posting. I'm not good with the mushy stuff, but I also wanted to say thank you to all my readers, you all make my day and inspire me. I will pass this award on, but if I tried today this post would never get posted. Next time :-)