Thursday, June 26, 2008

Farewell cards

Nothing to do with sewing, bento, or cakes; but having to do with making things...

I've decided to make the leap to SAHM for my two little kiddies, a probably long overdue change. So, I made some farewell cards for my "monkey pants" to give to her daycare/preschool class and teachers.

When I make cards and other paper designs for print, I usually sketch it out on a piece of paper where I figure out the measurements that I want to end up with, print a test, tweak it and then do all the cutting.

OK, these rounded corners where pretty impossible before I discovered these punch cuts. I used to use my scallopped sizzors.

I made the first letter of each childs name big because they are learning to recognize letters and they know the letter their name starts with.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sophia Carry-All Bag complete

I barely finished the bag in time for my daughter's surgery last week. I left it in her room as a surprise for her to see when she woke up that day. When she awoke, she came in to my room and asked me why I had left my purse in her room. It took a bit of convincing to explain to her that it was hers.

I helped her pick out things to pack in it for the hospital and I think it was a good activity to brighten up her outlook on the day. It was the perfect bag for all her comfort items and essentials: panties, socks, pull-ups, blankie, peach-scented tissues, Hello Kitty container with chap stick and hair bands, favorite books, DVDs, bento box with snacks, pajamas, "cutie-petutie" mini moopy, etc.

Finally found a good place for another super-cute item, a Meomi pin

I was pretty happy with how the bag turned out. I only have two complaints. Where I put elastic in the inside pockets, it caused my bag to pucker inwards at the sides. I actually really like the way the pockets turned out and I think they are really convenient for those little nick nacks but I should have simply cut the pocket longer so that when the elastic was attached, the elastic would end up the same width as the original pattern width. The other issue was that I still felt the bag was a bit soft on the top panels by the zipper. I didn't put Timtex in this area and kind of wish I had although, truthfully I don't know how I would have managed to sew through it. It was hard enough without any extra interfacing.

I went to the Hello Kitty store at the mall and found this super-cute key chain that I used for the zipper pull. It has a mirror on the back. I wasn't able to find bag feet at any of the local fabric and craft stores. So frustrating. But I was able to find them reasonably priced, more importantly with reasonably priced shipping online at

I think I would have preferred the feet that are a little bit bigger with the rounded bottom, but I figured these would be fine for a child's bag.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sophia Carry-All -- Lining

I'm getting close to my deadline for completing this project and haven't had a chance to work on it for several days. I did get the exterior completed. Attaching the bottom piece was definitely the hardest part specially because I decided to use the Timtex on the panels as well. It did help that I trimmed the seam allowance. I had to rip out and go over the stitching in a few spots several times to get it closer to the piping. Luckily, I was able to get through all of it using my Kenmore sewing machine because I can't find the zipper foot to my sister's Bernina that I borrowed. Oh oh. The only thing is that although my Kenmore was able to get through all the layers with some serious prying and pushing, the stitching doesn't seem very tight but I think it will have to do. Amazingly, I didn't break any needles but I have stuck myself with pins more than enough times.

I got a little bit done on the lining today. I decided to put three pockets on one side with elastic on the top for little 3-year old stuff like undies and socks. Hopefully it will work out as there is one issue with this made apparent by the photos --puckering of the whole panel. I think I may need to do some extra stitching to secure the lining to the sides of the bag. Hopefully this will stretch it out enough that it won't draw the whole bag inwards. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sophia Carry-All - progress

I've made some progress with the bag and overcome the purse zipper issue. Yea!

But first, about the interfacing. When I first started ironing on the woven interfacing, I was NOT impressed. The interfacing shrunk SO MUCH with the steam of the iron, that it rippled the holly crap out of the fabric. I had to rip it off several times and try again only to get the same result. OK, I didn't exactly follow the instructions to the letter --I didn't have a wet cloth laying on top of the fabric. I just couldn't believe how much the interfacing was shrinking. After using the wet cloth and not letting the iron sit for as long as directed (10 sec.) it seemed to work better. But frankly, for the price of this interfacing and the potential to totally skew your cut fabric pieces and mess them up, I don't think it's worth it. I would rather use the cheap non-woven fusible interfacing that doesn't do this at all. The difference is very minor. Sadly, I had already bought enough of the woven fusible for two Sophia bags. That's what I get for planning ahead and trying to save myself another trip to the store. I ended up using the cheap non-woven on the fabric first and applying the woven fusible as the second layer.

I pre-trimmed the seam allowance off the Timtex and zig-zagged it into place on top of the Thermolam fleece interfacing so that the exterior of the bag would still have a bit of soft cushiony feel.

I got the rest of my very expensive dot fabric in and made the cording cutting 1 3/4 inch bias strips as recommended by those who have already made this bag instead of the 1 1/2 inch specified in the pattern. That went pretty smoothly.

I ended the zipper saga yesterday. I bought two white 24" coil separating zippers that are exactly the same coil material, weight and have the same pulls as the C&C purse zipper. I cut off the end of one zipper completely off. I then cut of one end of the other zipper off to get the slider off. I threaded the slider in the opposite direction onto the first zipper ends. I zig-zagged the ends shut using the measurements from the 22" purse zipper and voila, purse zipper. I have to admit I was pretty happy with myself for getting this to work. So this would be my tip contribution to anyone that hasn't made this bag yet or who will make another for those that don't' want to use the black, navy, or brown colored zippers.

I've attached the piping and now am working on sewing the bag together. I've borrowed my sisters old Bernina in case my little Kenmore can't handle it, but I haven't had to use it yet. Which is good, being that it apparently wants to take up all the electricity in the room and keeps blowing the GFI. I have to plug it in to an extension cord going to a non-GFI outlet!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sophia Carry-All -- zipper problem

I'm having a hard time finding a double pull zipper for this bag. The Coats & Clark Purse Zipper called for in the pattern only comes in "neutral colors" which are all dark - black, navy, and a manly brown color. I need a zipper in white, light grey, or light pink. I posted my dilemma on the Monkey Foot Designs & Stacey Sews Flickr sew along, but the sew along for the Sophia bag was over a couple months ago. I'm hoping someone might have an idea.