It was 68 degrees here yesterday. A treat for November in Vermont. In some ways I'm glad that it was a more typically cool, gray, and drizzly day today because I had no intention of playing outside. With a rare showing of some forethought, I took the day off to start sewing Christmas gifts.
On my last trip to Nido, Phiona introduced me to Growing Up Sew Liberated. All I needed was the suggestion. It's a fabulous addition on my quickly growing collection of sewing books. I especially like the "big kid" projects. I was starting to get a little nostalgic for my baby looking at diaper bags, bibs, and booties in my other books. While I'm rather smitten with the Little Amigo doll in this book, I'm being realistic that it's not going to happen by the end of December. I opted instead, to make the naturalist's messenger bag.
I've been holding on to this lovely red Japanese fabric with little houses for a few years after getting it at the Vermont Quilt Festival. The info on the selvage is "D's Selection Tip-top DT11227s produced by Junkl Matsuda Made in Japan http://www.daiwabo-tex.co.jp It really like the scale of this fabric for this cute little bag.
The green is a soft, heavy twill from the now closed fabric store where I used to work. I don't know the manufacturer, but when I worked there we always called it the "Kermit" fabric!
The directions in this book are quite easy to follow. The strap was a bit more complicated in its sewing as it is adjustable, but if you're sewing for a child, being able to change the length of the strap is important.
I made a couple of alterations to the pattern. First, I made the pocket a little bit larger and made it slightly more square on the bottom. After the bag was sewn, I discovered that the larger pocket isn't as well hidden under the front flap. I really should have placed it closer to the top/ opening of the bag. I also found that the bag wasn't closing as securely as I wished, so I added a hair tie into the seam of the flap and a button to secure the flap down. This solved both of those problems.
My grandmother told me that you should never gift a wallet or purse without money in it. Inspired by this, anytime I make a bag or pouch or wallet-like thingie, I've got to put something in it for the recipient. In this case, I made a little zipper pouch/ change purse. I made one that turned out a little smaller than I intended. I was going to toss it, but decided to make a second larger one instead. She can organize her money, library card, band aids, etc. however she wishes. Not to leave an empty pouch, I tucked a dollar and some coins into on pouch and a free Ben and Jerry's ice cream coupon into the other. I also made a little tissue pouch for the inevitable drippy nose!
I finished the last of these accessories just in time to tune into Sari's internet workshop this afternoon. (the real reason I took the day off) It was a well-done, informative talk on fabric. I was pleased to realize that I already knew most of what she discussed, but there were some ideas about drape and heaviness that was helpful to remember. It also solidified my thinking that using natural fiber fabrics is totally worth the expense over synthetics. Though I'm often miserly, if you spend 10+ hours perfecting a garment from sewing a muslin to adding details, a few dollars per yard shouldn't keep you from buying the fabric that will best suit the project. And now, would someone go and explain this all to my husband...
The fun-filled day of sewing was bound to come to an end, and I did have to step out into the post daylight savings time wet gloom to pick up Nora. She's been fighting a cold and didn't greet me as heartily as she usually does. I thought it best that we spend a little more time chatting and walking. So, we headed for the thrift shop. Her attitude can change quickly with a twenty-five cent book. (Today, it was Meet Kaya).
It was as if there were some theme going on for me today because there were four great sewing books waiting for me when I got there. The first was Nancy Zieman's The Best of Sewing with Nancy. I didn't even look inside when I picked it up. If it's by Nancy, I get it. She pretty much has all of the answers!
There was also this fabulous book of interior decorating from 1950. Irresistible!
Chapter thirty-three How to Make Use of Attics, Basements
Attractive Studio-Bedroom takes advantage of wasted attic space:
I have no idea how "easily installed wood paneling may solve your space problem." Clearly, I have some reading to do.
A groovy Coats and Clark's Sewing Book from 1967:
But this is my favorite! (1949!)
I'm totally ready for the next color palette sewing challenge!
Fabulous edge treatments:
So much shirring!
I also picked up a couple of sewing patterns. One for me and one for Nora. Those are some fierce green pants!