Category Archives: sew

fabric + machine = joy

Card Holders

Card Holders
13 11

Over the past couple years, the number of cards I’ve been carrying around has multiplied. Not only are there bank cards, library and museum cards for me and kids, but nearly every store I go into has some kind of tracking, I mean loyalty, program they want to give me a card for. It’s exasperating and my poor wallet can’t handle it. My aesthetic senses were groaning at the little zipper bag I’ve been using for cards as well. I know, you remember my ode to zipper bags and can’t believe I just wrote that, right? Well, a solution was in order.

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Mixing and matching

Pairing fabrics
Fabric combinations

This is how I start my sewing day. Usually, I’ve spent some time during the week thinking about what a few fabrics I want to try. Think of it as Mama-meditation, or being distracted by thinking about fabric while biking to school, cutting fruit, watching toddlers eat lunch, and on and on. In the morning, I clear some space, pull out a few starting pieces (these are usually the bolder patterns) and then start looking for good pairings in the stash. It all sounds so simple, but over the years I’ve had to learn a lot in order to make it work.

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Zipping along

Zipper bags ready to go
13 10 Weimar

Let’s pause a moment to appreciate the joy of zipper bags. Obviously, one needs to have them in every possible size and material. Some soft, some a bit sturdier, at least one waterproof, translucent is nice as well to save the deep digging. I use them for everything: pencils, travel bags (at least one each for toiletries, medicines & bandaids, chargers and cords, underwear and socks, office supplies, passports and documents, cards and cash), makeup, office supplies, coupons, and the list goes on and on. So as far as I’m concerned, you can’t have too many! Making many is another issue all together.

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2014 Desk Agendas

Agenda collage

I have a little confession to make. I love keeping an agenda. One is the fact that without one I’d be a complete wreck. The mom who doesn’t know what time to pick up her kids? That’s me. An agenda (a nice big one) gives me a place to write down appointments, but also household reminders (change sheets), meal plans, and things to do. Unfortunately, most journals fall into two categories: fun/useless/expensive or boring/useful/affordable. My solution was to buy a good useful journal and pretty it up, you can see my first agenda cover on my other blog. Over the years, my agenda needs have expanded, so now I’m making a desk size, and you can have one, too!

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Tools: Sewing machine feet

Buton foot
Stitch in the Ditch foot

I sew with a Janome 5024. It came into my life when Oma’s sewing machine broke five years ago and I think it’s just dandy. It’s a hard working machine. No computers, not a lot of fancy stitches, just a reliable mechanical sewing machine that can sew and sew and sew. Based a bit on need (sheets I want to darn) and a bit of blog inspiration (this post over at Badskirt that’s been brewing. Last week I bought three new presser feet, a darning foot, a stitch-in-the ditch foot, and a button sewing foot. There is a great sewing machine shop near my home and the owner walked me through choosing feet and how to use. I was a bit skeptical of how much I might use them and if it would be worth the investment. The darning foot is still in the package, but let me tell you about my first experiences with the other two.

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Little apples, little labels

EarthApple labels

Yesterday was another milestone “let’s get this show on the road” moment. My Versacraft stamp pad finally arrived. I chose Versacraft for stamping on fabric based on this review. It took me far too long to get myself organized about ordering that little stamp pad, but once I finally ordered from Noeks, it only took a day or two arrive and a few hours to put it to use! I’ve had a vision of this particular label for quite some time now. It’s been coming together slowly, but every step has been a bit dream-like. What a dramatic story for a label, right? I’ll share.

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Zip me a bag

Lined zipper bag with pocket

Lined zipper bag with pocket

After all that fabric buying and inspiration, this week I finally got started on making. I’ve had a couple of ideas percolating for a while now. In the past, I’ve thought mainly in terms of individual pieces. Usually those pieces corresponded with my needs. As in – oh, I need a bag. Hey, why not design and make one?! Now, I’m trying to think in terms of a product line. That means, not just a single bag, but a series that works together. When the realization came to me it was scary. Now that I’ve started working, it’s fantastic. There’s no need to stop with one piece, I can just keep going on to the next one!

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Stacks of fabric

Fabric shopping (part 1)Fabric shopping (part 3)

I’ve been buying fabric these past few days. Lots and lots of fabric. It is so much fun to have permission (at last?!) to walk into a really nice fabric shop and pick out a dozen or so bolts of fabric, take them to the cutting table, and ask for a quarter yard of each. It’s also pretty darn scary.

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