Monday, May 29, 2023

A Quick Project - Or Not

 Sometime in March, I decided to make phone clutch wallets for myself and a couple of friends. I used the Lemonza Wallet Clutch Pattern from Country Cow Designs. The tutorial made it look like a very quick sew. So, I bought the pattern, and read it over. I made a list of the things I was going to need to order, I picked fabric and got my friends to pick their fabric from my suggestions. I added linings, and waited for my order to hardware and strapping to arrive. 

I noticed that the pattern suggested that I use a different interfacing for the lining than I usually use. The designer said it was thinner and would make a tidier bag. The interfacing wasn't available from any of my usual sources. I was going to use my usual when I discovered a new supplier, who had that interfacing, so I order some for the three bags. (that was mistake #1)

I cut all the pieces. One piece of fabric may have been cut upside down, and I didn't have enough to fix it, so I had to leave it. Nobody will notice, right? (that was mistake #2)

I fused all the interfacing, and realized that the new interfacing was not giving me the crisp finish I like to the fabric. I made the zippered pockets for the inside, and it refused to lay flat when I pressed it. Very narrow double sided tape helped but didn't really solve it.

Onward! I decided to make one bag first and find the other pitfalls. Mistakes 3, 4, and 5 followed. Some mine and some the pattern designer's instructions that just didn't work for me. I persevered. The bag is finished.

Three months in the making, my quick little bag is ready for its first outing.

This is the back of the bag. My label will be going on the front on the other 2.

Because I am a klutz, my phone has an Otterbox (ruggedized) case. The pocket is big enough to get it in and out with ease.

It is always difficult to show the inside of a bag, but it has 12 card slots and two slip pockets as well as the zippered pocket.

The flap flopped back farther than I liked, and I discovered when the bag was finished that the lining wasn't completely caught at the attachment to the bag. I solved the problem by adding a couple of bar tacks near the top edge of the bag. they don't really show and solve the problem perfectly. I.m happy with the bag now, but I'll be making a few changes on future versions.

The fabric is entirely from my stash. The lovely hardware is by Emmaline Bags. The cork fabric is from MM Cork Supply. Seat belt strapping is from Blue Calla Designs.

Since Sandra of MMMQuilts is having her monthly DrEAMi linkup, I will add my squirrel project for this month. Drop over and see what others have done.

A friend is having her first grandchild this summer, so I broke my long standing rule and knit one baby sock between the first and second sock of a pair, the day after I heard the news.

It is in Turtlepurl's lovely self striping yarn, and is made from the leftovers of the first sock skein. The skeins are perfectly matched so I will make the second baby sock when the second adult sock is finished.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Holiday Bag Making

 In my part of the world, today is Victoria Day, the unofficial start of summer. It is our hope that from now until September, our weather will be warm enough not to require woolie hats and mittens (though the possibility exists.)

Since Saturday was wet, I got back to some sewing I had started over a month ago. I had the foolish idea that a simple phone wallet wouldn't take too long, and that I should make three of them at once. I spent a lot of time cutting out three bags, linings and stabilizers. I got everything fused into place, then I got distracted by some volunteer work that needed to be done.

I did make the inner zippered pockets for all three, but nothing else got done.

So, after a session on Saturday, I finished the back of the bag.

This is a new to me bag designer, and I followed that pattern, closely, thinking that she might know how it all goes together. That may have been a mistake. In the first place, she said to use an interfacing that is not my usual for the lining, because it would be thinner. Turns out, I don't like the one she suggested because it doesn't press as flat as my usual.

She also wanted the flap portion of the magnetic snap installed after the flap was finished. That proved nearly impossible. Not going to try that again. Fortunately, I have given up on the idea of making three at once, and I am just working on the one I am keeping. I will make all my mistakes here first.

Yesterday, I made the front of the bag.

It went better. The magnetic snap went in first. Of course, I should have put my bag label on at the same time. After the front was finished, the bag label couldn't go on the front without either sewing the pocket to the front, or ending up under the flap when it is closed.

So, it is now on the back of the bag.

Today, I made the card slots and slip pockets for the lining.

Learning from past mistakes, I checked to make sure that the card slots were the correct size to hold cards.

My first wallet ended up off centre and half the card slots were too small for cards. Now I keep a old card in my drawer to measure the slots. 

Now that I am using my own experience, I top stitched the tops of all the pockets. It makes a crisper fold that makes it easier to get the cards in and out. I discovered that a blind hem foot does and excellent job of keeping the top stitching even .

The foot has a step in it, so you can run the fold along the lower edge.

 The next step involves cutting the lining to match the outside. That seems like a good job for the beginning of a sewing session, not the end. So it can wait until tomorrow. Hopefully it will all come together quickly.

For the flower lovers, I have a picture of our apple trees.

They really look good this spring.

And, of course, Emme and Mudd. I think Emme is telling Mudd a secret.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Tulip Time

Today is the opening of the Canadian Tulip Festival. As many Canadians know, the festival is a legacy celebration of the Canadian contributions to World War II, including providing refuge for Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, and her family. Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa in 1943. The tulips are a symbol of the ties we have to the Netherlands. This year 300,000 tulips are growing in gardens from Majors Hill Park to Dow's Lake, along the canal.

If you live in Ottawa, you are encouraged to plant tulips. So here are some of mine.

The Canada 150 tulips from 2017 did not come up the same colour after 2017. This is one group I have (not white and red, but yellow).

This is a second group, where you can see the maple leaves at the bottom, but the white part is yellow.

These are a rose pink, and planted more recently.

A different breed of yellow and red.

Under the tulips are some low flowers in purple and blue.

Last week, I joined some friends in a walk in Gillies Grove. It is an old growth forest near the Madawaska River. It was a lovely day for a walk. 

Look at the colour of the sky! After a week of rain it was so good to be out in the sun under such blue skies.

The quilter in me was fascinated by the bark on this tree. The tree is huge, towering over me. Don't ask me what it is, it didn't have leaves yet.

When not outside in the sun, I've been knitting.

I found this bright yarn, in my stash, and I knew it would be the next yarn to be used. The first sock is finished now. Because it is two matching skeins, I am knitting a pair of baby socks and I started the first one from the end of this ball, before I get out the second ball.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 1, 2023

Some Progress and a DrEAMi

 I volunteer some computer services to a couple of groups I belong to. So the last couple of weeks, I've been sorting out a computer problem for one of them. I think I have it solved, or at least I hope I do.

However, it has cut into my sewing time. 

In mid-April, I did do a DropEverythingAndMakeIt (DrEAMi) project.

I made 2 zippered pouches from Minecraft fabric, for a birthday party my grandson was going to. The celebrants are twins and mad about Minecraft. The pouches were filled with a collection of small gifts.

Last week, I finished a pair of socks. This is my fifth pair this year.

Great socks to knit during dull rainy days.

I am slowly creating three clutch bags, at the same time. I now have all the interfacing fused to the fabric. I have finished sewing the interior zipper pockets.

I think it is easier to find the zipper pull if it isn't identical to the zipper, so I changed out the pulls.

Yesterday, my grandson was here for a visit. He did some sewing.

It is part of a kit, and I think he did a good job. I was just in charge of threading the needle. I think his favourite part was stuffing it.

The other morning, I placed an order from Costco through Instacart. My helpers checked to make sure we got everything.

It looks like lots more rain coming, so maybe I'll have more sewing done later in the week.

Linking to Sandra's DrEAMi link party.