Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A few quick projects

In my last post, I mentioned that I would be trying my hand at clothing repair/restyle for the first time. That project went off without a hitch.

I took a girl's Old Navy sundress that had developed a couple of holes (one hole was along a seam, and the other looked suspiciously like it had been cut with safety scissors). It's pretty rare for us to buy a new piece of clothing from a brand-name place, so I couldn't conceive of this dress serving this three-girl family for less than a couple of months.

I repaired the seam hole. Then I cut the dress down, made a casing, added some elastic, and it was done in no time. Now, it's a skirt. 

I also did a little project to use up some quilting cotton. I let the girls pick out their own fabric, then made a few crayon-and-coloring-book totes, using this tutorial. The project came together quickly and was very satisfactory. I even made a third tote for a friend, using some cute pirate fabric that I had. I added an initial to the front of each.

 If I do this project again, I'll have to do some alterations to the tutorial - as written, the width doesn't leave enough space for a full 24-pack of crayons. The tutorial also suggests adding interfacing, otherwise the bag ends up floppy. I added the interfacing to the red-and-yellow one, but found that it was too stiff, and it was too difficult to put in the crayons. So for the black-and-red and blue-and-red ones, I left them floppy, and thought they were fine.

I purposely gave the kids some of the fabric that I wanted to get rid of, and, god bless 'em, those kids picked out some real uggos to clear out of the stash. Seriously, the black-and-red fabric had a selvage with the year "2006" printed on it. Can I really have fabric dating back almost seven years? Yikes.

I just wish I knew more kids so I could make more of these!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Adventures in bag-making

During my July break from quilting, I made a bag. I don't like making bags, normally. Maybe I just haven't had the best luck with it, but the results are almost always disastrous.

But as with most things that I'm not very good at, I forget all about it until I'm elbow-deep.

So I decided to make a diaper bag. I used this great tutorial, with ideas for the ruffles and adjustable strap from this bag tutorial. It's lined with oil cloth and has lots of handy little pockets.

And the results were...not bad. I'll have to give it some practical use for a while before I really decide if I like it. The tutorial called for heavy-duty interfacing. I used fusible interfacing, and I've never liked the way the layers start pulling apart after even a little bit of use. And heavy-duty might have been too much for this job - I'm not fond of the way it creases after use. If I ever decide to try this project again, I'll just use medium-weight sew-on interfacing.

I thought the ruffles would make it feminine enough for my new little girl, but the overall color scheme looks more or less unisex. But you know what Roseanne says when someone accuses her of not being feminine.

My August quilt is well under way. I started it before I knew whether I was having a boy or a girl, so it's also gender-neutral. But before I get too deep into a new quilt, my machine needs a good cleaning and oiling. I'll also be trying something new to me - my first clothing repair/repurposing project. Hopefully, that'll be my next post, in the next couple of days.