As I flip through my ever-growing pattern collection, I often wonder if I’m in need of an intervention. So many patterns, so many intentions and yet so little follow through. For instance, I’ve had an Echino purse pattern since 2008 and even bought the fabric but never got around to making it. Why?
In part, because the pattern is in Japanese. This may surprise you, but I can’t read or speak Japanese. Shocking, right? But the Japanese craft books and patterns usually are so detailed with diagrams that it’s really not necessary to be able to read the accompanying text.
Except this pattern. There’s one little diagram that I just wasn’t sure I understood. I finally took another look at it and realized my confusion: The little wiggly line means to gather the section between the arrows. And the diagram on the pattern sheet shows to gather the fabric to an opening of 29cm. Woooo!
And thus my newest purse came into being:
The body of the bag is a fun, new linen/cotton blend from Kokka, part of the new Trefle line. My favorite bright colors+sewing images? LOVE! I lined it with an aqua and white gingham from the Michael Miller line Mini Mikes. The tabs and strap are made with the MM Cotton Couture line of solids (which I am so loving).
All told, I think the bag took maybe 90 minutes to cut and sew. My strap is a little longer than the pattern piece and I also made mine a little different (I cut it four times the finished size and folded it like bias tape, with a touch of Decor Bond to interface). I did mess up the tabs on the first go and these aren’t quite right, either. I also left two pins underneath one of them and had to work them out through the seam. Oops!
I usually don’t like bags without interior pockets but this silhouette doesn’t really lend itself to pockets. Fortunately the size it perfect for my must-have items so I don’t really need any pockets inside. I can seriously see myself making several more of these. Next time I want to use some of the Kokka ready-made strapping.
Sometimes I see a pattern and I just know I have to make it. This was the case with the Modern Mary Jane pattern by Loft Creations. What really made it for me was the big, showcase-y kind of panel for showing off a cool fabric — which is the argument I used to convince Sarah to order it for the shop. I was down there to pick fabric for the sample almost before the pattern was unboxed!
I have been dying to sew with Melody Miller’s Ruby Star Shining ever since she posted peeks of it on her blog and it looked like the perfect fit for the pattern. When I compared the measurements of the focus panel to the cool mixed-print fabric in her line, I was thrilled to discover it was almost an exact match. Serendipity!
Because the fabric has so many prints and pieces, I was able to fussy cut all the border squares from the same piece of yardage. I did take Sarah’s suggestion and mix in a bit of natural linen (Timeless Treasures) as well as a navy-and-white polka dot from Sarah Jane’s Children At Play for Michael Miller. The inside of the bag is a vibrant chartreuse from Kona.
I changed up the pattern and did a second “front” of the bag for the backside to use up the other focus panel on the fabric. I’ll probably follow the instructions the next time I make this bag because I like the multiple pockets called for. Although I’m holding out for the cool female superhero fabric that’s on order. Because that’s how I roll.
My little sewing/crafting break has been nice but I’ve started to miss it and made some time for myself in the studio this week.
The Sew Liberated Woodlands Shirt pattern has been on my cutting table for a couple of weeks, along with the fabric (beautiful unicorns from the Far, Far Away line by Heather Ross for Kokka). I finally remembered to wash the fabric, so it seemed liked perfect timing to whip up a cute little shirt for my little sweetie.
If you have not touched the Kokka double gauze, you’re missing out. It’s so beautiful and soft, really just a gorgeous fabric. Sewing with it was easy peasey and the weight of the fabric is just perfect for clothes. I think I need to pick up some more for spring and summer sewing.
I really like how the top turned out, although I wish I had added some length to the sleeves and bodice. Miss L is a size 5 but has a long torso, which made this shirt a perfect fit for her — as long as I did a narrow hem (unlike the nice double-stitched hem called for in the pattern directions).
I almost left off the funky buttons but decided the shirt would look even cuter with them. I’m glad I did! They’re really fun and Liesl loves them. She also likes that she can manage the snaps all by her big girl self. Yes, the independence thing is a big one around here!
I’m looking forward to making this top again, maybe in more of this sweet double gauze or even some of the Anna Maria Horner voile. It’s a nice, easy-to-wear piece and flattering, too.