Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I'm obsessed with this bag that I made. My boyfriend thinks I'm crazy because I keep saying "hedgehogs" at completely random times. I just think the fabric is so cute and that the bag turned out really well. The fabric is this kind of thick off white twill with little hedgehogs and trees and strangely crowns printed on it in brown. I bought it online and spent way too much on it plus the shipping. But it is so worth it. I think it is imported from Japan. Japan has such cute fabrics. I wish I could take a vacation there just so I could go to Japanese fabric stores.
Anyway. The bag is pleated in the front and the back and lined with brown fabric that matches the hedgehogs. I ran out of pearl snaps but I still had non-decorative snaps so I sewed a shell button from my grandma's button box on top of the snap. I'm still afraid of the one step button holer on my sewing machine so I like the idea of having the look of a button but the ease of installing a snap.
I think I like this bag so much that I don't want to sell it. I'll probably make more and post them on etsy at some point.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tons of Bags

Here are most of the bags that I've made lately that I haven't gotten around to posting on here. Most of them are these same tote bags that I really like making. I'm going to try to start making other kinds of bags though. I want to come up with good patterns for three or four types of bags that I can then vary by embellishing them in different ways with screen printing or embroidery or applique or whatever.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

little black bag

I had a party to go to last Sunday that I needed a little black bag to carry with a fairly fancy dress. I was in a rush so I had looked at a couple department stores in the mall and either they had only hideously ugly bags or tiny black leather clutches that all cost more than $100. I really just wanted a little black fabric clutch and I couldn't find that anywhere. I gave up and decided that I was going to Jo-Ann's. For some reason I thought that Jo-Ann's would have the hardware for the clasp for the clutch. They have all these other purse handles but somehow the little clippy thing for the clutch is not something that is sold at places like that. I also got in my head that I wanted black cotton eyelet fabric. I found really cute, on sale, eyelet fabric in every other color but not black there. It was so busy that I just go frustrated and went to another fabric store, the Cotton Shop. That place of course had the fabric I wanted. It still didn't have the clutch hardware but I had already come up with a solution for that.

I designed the whole bag in my head at my boyfriend's house before I got back to my house where my sewing machine is. I used dowels cut down to the length of the top of the bag to make it sturdy and then make little flaps that fold in so there is room to open it. I saw a tutorial for similar looking clutch that used interfacing to make the top stiff but I didn't have any and had already been to two fabric shops that day. I ended up having to do the top stitching around the opening by hand because the dowels wouldn't fit under my sewing machine foot. I like the way it turned out. It was kind of frustrating but I finished it in the couple of hours that I had before the party.

close up of pleats

lined with blue green broad cloth and has snap closure

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Mushroom and Owl Tote

This is the bag that I made that I have been carrying around lately. It has a mushroom design silk screened to the front and the lining is made from the cutest owl fabric that I got from the Marukai 98cent store. The big owls are from a tea towel. Apparently these traditional Japanese towels are called Tenugui. The smaller owls are from a handkerchief that had the exact same pattern on it, just smaller. If I make more bags like this I think I will make an owl silk screen design to put on the front so it will be even more owly.


mushroom design on front

Close up of owls (so cute)

Mushroom Pincushion

This is really not a good picture, it was way too dark in my room when I took it but I freaking love this pincushion that I made. I made one for the mushroom swap but I liked it so much I made one for myself. This time I weighted the stem with a rock so it can stand up on it's own. This random red polka-dot fabric was perfect for the mushroom cap. I just cut out a big circle and sewed, I guess it's called a slip stitch, around the outside and drew it together. Then I sewed it onto a base I made out of felt with a little green felt grass on the bottom. The gathering at the bottom of the cap just looks so much like gills. I think I will make more to sell on etsy since it was so easy. I'll get something better to weight the bottoms down with. The rock I used I think is still a little bit too light. It keeps tipping over.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Gold Finch Tote Bag

I thought that I broke my sewing machine the night before last. It was extreamly frustrating expecially since I am compleately addicted to the thing, but I finally managed to sort of fix it. Then last night it started acting crazy again until I realized that I was using thread that was for "button crafts" and too thick for the machine to handle.
After I got everything working again I made this purse last night. I like it because it combines my previous obsession with faux screen printing with my new obsession with sewing. Before I had been buying ridiculously expensive American Apparel t-shirts and sweatshirts to screen print on when I could have been making more interesting things myself to print on. For Christmas/Hanukkah I made my boyfriend a screen printed wallet which I actually bought twice from the American Apparel store because I messed up so badly on the first one. If I had already had my sewing machine I could have just sewed a cooler wallet and printed on just one piece of fabric before it was sewn up so if I messed up I could just recut that one piece.
On this tote bag I also figured out how to make a flat bottom so it stands up by sewing together the bottom corners. I think it makes it look a little more professional. I think this one is going on my etsy site too. I'm going to try to make a whole line of bags with my screen prints on them.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Koi and Daruma Tote Bag

I've really gotten addicted to making purses. I've made at least one a night each night this week. Two of the ones that I really like I made for craftster.org swaps so I can't post pictures of them or else my swap partners might see the stuff they are getting before they get it. This one I made last night and I think I might put it up on my etsy site http://kraken.etsy.com. I think it is technically the best one I've made. It is reversible and has a pocket on the inside and outside. Both fabrics I used were dish towels from the Marukai 98 cent store. I think they go really well together sine they both have the same color orange in them. One side is koi and the other side I believe is a stylized version of the daruma dolls http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daruma which are supposed to represent the monk that founded Zen Buddhism (who sat in one place for so long that his arms and legs atrophied) and are supposed to be good luck.