Disconnect

While my MacBook is at the spa, getting a shiny new hard drive (that works), I’m more or less computer-less for the interim. Yes, we have other computers in the house but I don’t have one that’s pretty much at my disposal at all times, so I have to pop on when it’s convenient.

So I’ve been pretty disconnected from my normally bloggy routines and have spent maybe one percent of the usual amount of time I’m online since my poor little laptop bit the dust last week. What’s a girl to do?

Why, sew and clean, of course!

I think anyone who’s been around my blog for a while knows how much I really dislike housecleaning but being away from the ‘Net blackhole, I’ve actually managed to get a goodly amount cleaned up and staying fairly shiny*. (Family of five, three of them male and one of them a preschooler — figure it out.)

If I could get photos off my camera and on this computer, I’d show you the scads of Christmas sewing I’ve been doing. I figured out earlier today that I’ve sewn eight purses and one big stocking in two days — and that includes a trip to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned plus a full set of X-rays. Quite a few of them have come from Cassie Barden’s book, The New Handmade. I know I go on and on about it, but it really has been my most-used book of late.

Speaking of The New Handmade … I’m actually teaching two purse classes from the book at Intown Quilters after the first of the year. They’re among the NINE classes I’ll be teaching from January-March. I’m not quite sure how that happened but I’m excited and it’s going to be fun. For reals!

Purse-o-nality

There are going to be a lot of purses under the Christmas trees of the people I know and love this holiday season. They’re lots of fun to make, don’t take a lot of fabric or time, and are easily tailored to each recipient. Plus they’re just about as useful as you can get, so no worrying about giving someone a present she’ll just end up having to dust.

I’ve made two of the black-and-white stripwork purses on the left using Autum’s great tutorial (scroll down on that page). You really can’t tell but there’s a matching key fob hanging ver the front of the bag (it’s the same wallpaper type fabric as on the purse, so it sort of blends). I actually embroidered the recipient’s name on the fabric before I made the fob, which I think makes it just a little more special. Don’t you?

The second purse over is another Melly & Me bag. I’ve waxed poetic about the patterns before, so I’ll spare you today. Just note that some lucky person is getting a little of my Japanese Sleeping Beauty fabric with that gift. It’s definitely very girly. It’s probably one of the smaller purses I’ve made, so it’s not the gift for the friend or family member who carries her entire life in her purse. *cough*cough*my BFF*cough*

The other two purses in the photograph are both from Cassie Barden’s book, The New Handmade. I’m not kidding when I say that I’m really enjoying the book and there definitely will be more of both of these bags coming down the pike. The blue (made with Erin McMorris’s Park Slope fabric) is the Flea Market Purse. I couldn’t find bookboard for the bottom insert, so I used plastic canvas instead. It’s so pretty and I can’t wait to make one for me. The patchwork bag was made with more of Melissa Averinos’s Sugar Snap fabric. This one, I think I’ll make an exact duplicate for me. It’s so soft and pretty! The buttons are actually vintage ones given to me by one of my son’s coworkers. They were a perfect match for the green in the fabric so I just had to use them.

I made eight of these cute little bags as goodie bags for Miss L’s birthday not-party and they were a huge hit. The pattern is the makeup bag from Fig Tree Quilts Easiest Accessory Bags Ever. Even making eight of them, they sewed up fairly quickly (although I did omit the handles) and it was no big deal to personalize each of them with the guests’ names. I actually think the gym bag and laundry bag patterns (included) would make great graduation presents. There’s also a purse option that’s in between the gym bag and makeup bag that I’m dying to make. You know, because a girl can never have too many purses.

Feels Sew Good

I have been indulging in a bit of recreational sewing lately, vs. sewing for hire. It has been a nice change of pace after being so busy the past few months (not that I’m complaining!) and I’m really loving (mostly) what I’ve been working on.

My love for Sugar Snap by Melissa Averinos knows no bounds. I don’t remember the last time I was in love with an entire line of fabric and wanted to sew with every piece — and it’s not hard to do with this line since there are only 15 prints. (BTW, if you’re in the Atlanta area, Sarah has the entire line in stock at Intown Quilters.) It is just so fun and I love the colors. The bag on the left is Sandi Henderson‘s Market Bag pattern. It’s the first time I’ve made it and I really messed up where the straps connect, so it’s good that you can’t see it. I think if I make the bag again, I’ll try home dec fabric and skip the canvas interfacing. It was just really bulky to work with in some spots. Plus? I’m lazy and would rather not spend time basting canvas to fabric if I could be putting something together.

The dress on the right is too darned cute for words. It’s from a Japanese sewing book and I thought it was a great match for the print. I like that it can be layered over long sleeves or worn without when the weather warms up. Actually, that’s why I cut out the size 4 instead of the 3 (Miss L’s usual size) — I’m hoping she won’t have outgrown it by the time spring rolls around. Oh, and it’s also for the Trendy Textiles launch on Etsy next week, which is all about Sugar Snap. (Yep, that means it’ll be in my shop, as a custom-sized item.)

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