Saturday, January 30, 2010


I've been making purses and tote bags now for about a year and a half. One day, I might just show you a couple of my first attempts! But I truly enjoy figuring out the process and experimenting with different fabrics and interfacings. I've had the Ava Rose Tote pattern from Artsy Crafty Babe in my stash for awhile and really want to make up a bunch of these.

I decided to use this one to test some interfacings that I haven't tried before. My bags in the past haven't been as sturdy as I would like them to be, but I really don't like the fusible interfacings. The only fusible I've had good luck with is the thermal fleece - which gives a great quilty feeling to the bag and doesn't alter the feel of the fabric (nor does it leave any lumps). I have not had good luck with the regular fusible fleece - the problem is, with bags, you have to press the bag so much in different stages and you just can't keep pressing the fusible fleece or it will leave awful looking lumps and creases in the fabric and they don't come out.

I had never used sew-in interfacing before - so I decided to give it a whirl. I used pellon heavy duty sew-in interfacing and learned a bit along the way.
  1. Baste or pin the interfacing to the fabric before the pattern is cut out. It would have saved me oodles of time and my interfacing would have matched up perfectly to the fabric. I know this seems like a very common sense thing to do - obviously I didn't realize this at the time.

  2. I really wished I had added a layer of canvas or a light layer of fleece before I added the heavy duty stuff. While it is nice and sturdy (I've never had a bag stand up so well on its own!) - it is a little too stiff.

  3. I seriously broke out a sweat trying to turn the damn thing. And when I finally got it turned, some of the fabric didn't catch in the seam (near the strap) - so I had to repeat the process. I'm not kidding - I had to turn the heat down! I guess I should make the hole a little larger - but honestly, it wasn't too small. Just 2 layers of the stiff stuff made it tough to turn. nuff said.

  4. Seams...the nice thing about fusible is that you can cut it so it doesn't end up in the seams. Not so with the sew in. I'm not thrilled with the bulkiness of the seams - but you can't tell by looking at the tote.

I'm not quite done w/ the tote - I need to sew on the button. All in all, I love the pattern and the size of the bag. Top-stitching was a $*#&%*#! This was more due to the trying to manipulate the curves and stitch through the layers (and the fact the bag would "pop up" every time I'd push it down to sew) than anything else. Well, that and I probably should have switched out my needle. Lessons learned every day!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, January 25, 2010

Sewing for Craft Hope

Craft Hope has gotten such a huge response for their Haiti Etsy shop that they had to shut down for a couple of weeks to regroup. The shop is still open for business - but crafters need to wait 2 more weeks to submit more donations for the shop. The good news is, we have a little more time to create! I've been sewing up some aprons from Paula Prass's Summer Soiree collection - who doesn't love these fabrics!?! The collection is superb and the fabrics are a blast to work with. Can't wait to sew up more of these.
On a side note, I know why I don't blog more often. Besides the fact I don't have anything really interesting to say, it's the photo thing that really bogs me down. It just seems to take me forever to get photos uploaded and edited. If I could actually take a decent photo, I might not have to upload everything to picnik - but some of us need more help than others. So for those of you out there who take amazing photos and manage to them uploaded onto your blog often - any advice?
Have a wonderful crafty week!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti

Wow - it really has been months since I've touched my poor little blog. I have been keeping up with some of my favorite blogs - although, not nearly as often as I'd like. I'm in awe of those of you who not only keep up with your blogs, but have interesting things to write and beautiful photos to post. How DO you do it?

My motivation for coming back is that little button on the right. Craft Hope for Haiti. I love Craft Hope - they have headed up some truly inspirational projects in the past and present. Their latest project is their Craft Hope for Haiti etsy shop. Crafters from all over the world donate their products and 100% of the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. What an awesome and amazing opportunity to use our talents for this charity. Disasters like the earthquake in Haiti call all of us to help and if you are anything like me, I feel completely overwhelmed with the choices of organizations to donate to. I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to donate through Craft Hope even though I'm just one among millions who will be donating time, money, supplies or services for the people of Haiti. Hearts for Haiti is another Etsy shop that includes handmade goods from etsy sellers; 100% of the proceeds from this shop go to Doctors Without Borders too.