The change of seasons got me hankering for a new handbag. I saw a Pinterest pin for bags made from vintage linens and it provided the inspiration for my new spring bag. I drew the pattern to be similar to the Pinterest bags but bigger to meet my needs. The main body of the bag is made from 2 vintage tablecloths and an old flour sack towel. The flap is black quilting cotton that I’ve done machine embroidery on in the style I was wanting, and it is lined with a thrift store sheet. The bag is nice and roomy to hold Daphne’s diaper change things and is nice weight because I added fusible fleece to the body and flap. Fusible fleece really is the best for bags, I think. The fabric doesn’t want to pucker like it does with regular heavyweight interfacing, and it is more stable and smooth than just adding a layer of flannel. It would have been nice if I’d had vintage tablecloths that didn’t have white backgrounds because it is going to be hard to keep the bottom of this bag clean, but that is the nature of old finds, right? At least they were already stained anyway, and the only supply I purchased just for this project was the fusible fleece.
I’m happy with the way this turned out. The bag seems like it’s going to be functional, with a nice shape, two interior pockets, and easy magnetic closure. And it’s pretty and springy, vintage and new, all in one. I like seeing it hang on the hook by the door because it puts me in a picnics and flowers frame of mind!
We took a family vacation to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, this summer. I put together matching outfits for the kids. Matching outfits on vacation serve the dual purpose of looking cute (in real time and in photographs) and helping me keep track of everyone more easily! I used fabrics from the Michael Miller Shore Thing collection. Dorothy’s dress was a little halter pattern from Girl’s World, and Worth’s was the cute pattern from Sewing for Boys I had also used on his fox shirt last winter. I think Dorothy’s pattern would have been more flattering on a less willowy girl–I had to add some ruching under the best to give it a little shape.
Daphne’s dress is just a simple little halter with ties over the shoulders, and she got matching bloomers from the plaid. The outfits were breezy and comfortable for the kids, and were so fun for me to see in action!
I took this babywearing selfie, since I’m often not in the pictures. This carrier came off my sewing machine just over a year ago, and it has gotten almost constant use! I love the mei tai style carrier.
I made myself several new bags for our trip. I often find that we take evening beach walks to find shells or get ice cream, and while I need to carry my wallet, room key, and sunglasses, I do not want to tote my beach bag or even my purse. I sewed this small pouch with a long strap to throw over my shoulder and carry just the essentials. It was handy for the beach and has gotten quite a bit of use back at home too.
I had quite a bit of laminated cotton left over from a project of recovering my kitchen chair seats. I decided it would be good fabric for a new beach bag. I needed a new one anyway, now that we had grown to a family of five beach-towel users! I lined the bag and made pockets out of a brightly-colored striped sheet, then made a little zippered pouch to match. I downloaded the embroidery file for the monogram from the JoyfulStitchesEtsy shop and have loved it so much I’ve been stitching it onto everything! I thought laminated cotton worked well for the bag in that sand and water could be easily brushed off, but not as well in that it wrinkles badly in a hot car.
I wish I had a better photo of this project, but this one will do. I found this adorable mermaid-printed cotton last winter when I was looking for something else, and I bought it not knowing what on earth I’d use it for. I made the girls matching bermuda-style shorts and they’ve worn them together all summer. Love it when my girls dress alike! I found their matching green tops at Children’s Place. I used their other shorts as a pattern, sewed on decorative lavender drawstrings, and made a leg-band facing out of the lavender. There was just enough of the mermaid fabric left from the project that I got a little mermaid coin purse to carry my quarters in to the beach laundry-mat!
As a third-time Mom I feel like I have very specific needs as far as bags go. I don’t want to carry a diaper bag, because that’s so 2006 for me, but at the same time I simply must carry, well, diapers. So I like to carry one large bag that can serve as my purse and my assorted-kid-and-baby-crap bag all in one, and it must have many pockets, an outside easy-access pocket for my cell and keys, and both handles and a shoulder strap.
As you can imagine, I sometimes have trouble finding exactly what I’m looking for. I found this decorator-weight fabric last spring when I was looking for something else, and I decided it wanted to be my new bag.Instead of using a pattern, I just kind of created the bag I wanted. I measured to figure out how big it needed to be to serve all my needs, then made a basic, box-shaped bag with a zipper top, a lining, and many, many pockets. I sewed a removable pouch of the same exterior fabric that contains all my diaper-change gear, so on the rare occasions Miss Baby and I go separate ways her little tote can stay with her and I can be off with a lighter load. Perfect! Just don’t call it a diaper bag or we’ll fight. 🙂
I’ve been into zippered pouches lately. It all started with the purchase of a colorful zipper assortment from an Amazon.com seller, and then kind of took off. I’ve made medium-sized bags for my mother and mother-in-law, cute little boyish belt packs for a couple of Worth’s friends, a beach coin purse for myself, and this little zippered purse for a friend’s one-year-old. Somehow I only managed to snap a photo of this one. It’s fully lined with the same fabrics as the exterior and should be just right for stashing all her toddler sundries. Babies love bags, and zippers too.
I made another composition book cover like the ones I did as favors for Worth’s birthday party, this time covered in exterior decorator fabric and embellished with the recipient’s name. I like this as a gift idea because most anyone of any age could use a pretty composition book cover, whether they are headed to third grade or to a meeting.
I also got a little crafty with the idea of reusable gift bags. I saw these hefty vinyl bags at the Dollar Tree. They are the size of small gift bags, but made out of the same stuff as the reusable shopping bags. I laminated a gift tag and tied it to the bag with ribbon, then wrote the appropriate names in dry-erase marker on the tag. I’m hoping it can be regifted many times.
For Mother’s Day we used this Pinterest idea and decorated pots for the grandmothers. The big kids painted the sky and clouds, then Daphne lent her wee little footprints as the butterfly wings. I thought these turned out to be quite charming gifts and I liked that they involved all three kids.
Three gifts projects today. This was a purse for my niece’s sixth birthday last week. I was inspired by a project I saw on Ravelry. I crocheted circles from this book of crochet motifs, then added eyes, a beak, and some edging that resembles ears, and made a little strap. The birthday girl seemed to like it.
These are the same basic booties I often use as a baby gift, from this free pattern online. These are for a gender-unknown baby, so I made them out of a natural-toned washable wool and tied them with brown suede lace. My recent improvement on this baby gift is that I bought a package of cupcake boxes and am now tucking a small handmade card and the booties (stuffed with tissue paper to fill them out) down into the box, which comes together to make a very cute little gift. These got mailed so I especially liked the way the box made a tidy little parcel that I could mail without squishing the booties.
These are Granddad’s new mittens.
Modeled here by Granddad himself. I knitted (knooked) these using this vintage pattern that I used once before on mittens for Dorothy, out of this tweed yarn from Knitpicks. This is the same Granddad who last appeared here as one of my camper elves last spring. He totally deserved mittens, and much more too, but he got mittens. He likes them and looks forward to warm fingers.
I wanted to blog about this dress so I used the very high-tech method of setting my camera on the dresser and shooing the dog out of the way to try and take my own photo. I always feel a little self-conscious modeling my own creations anyway, but I feel especially goofy trying to take my own picture. Oh well…here it is. An acquaintance gifted me this brown fabric with little cream-colored flowers all over it. There was a lot of yardage and I really liked the drape of the fabric (maybe it is a rayon?) but I wasn’t into the bland colors. I bought a box of tangerine-colored RIT dye and soaked the brown fabric in a bucket, with the fabric intentionally twisted and wrinkled up, and I didn’t stir the dye. The result was just what I wanted; there are splotches and waves of the orange color swirling through the brown and showing up in the little pale flowers. It looks sort of tie-dyed but dressier. Then I did the same thing to some cream-colored cotton broadcloth I already had on hand, and I cut it up to make bias tape and the bow.
I used New Look 6349 as the base for this dress but I altered it in a number of ways. I had to make the shoulders narrower, and then it still bagged in the front so I put some ruching in the bust area before I sewed on the bias tape. I think my favorite thing about this pattern might be the sleeves. I often dislike commercial pattern sleeves because they seem too puffy, but this one has enough fullness at the top to let me move my arms freely but it doesn’t look like I’m going for some goofy Elizabethan ruffled look. I think I’m really going to enjoy wearing this dress around this fall. I can throw a cardigan over it and wear it all the way through Thanksgiving, with the browns and orange.
I made this fall purse out of a sturdy indoor/outdoor fabric that I’m hoping will wipe clean easily if need be. I used the folklore bag pattern from the One-Yard Wonders book. It could be a little roomier for someone who still has to tote diapers around sometimes for my boy who is afraid of “big” potties (we often travel with a small potty chair), but it’s not a bad size in general and I liked the pattern.
I made a little bag to tuck inside and organize my sundries out of scraps from Belle’s bed. Now I feel all coordinated this season!