Monday, April 15, 2013

Covert Robin: what I made

Anna Graham (Noodlehead) has a lot of really great bag patterns in her shop, and I've been wanting to try out the 241 tote pattern for a while. So, for me, the Covert Robin mystery swap was the perfect excuse to do so.

I've been seeing versions of this bag around the web, and remember seeing at least a couple (or maybe a dozen?!) at Sewing Summit last fall that I coveted.  I especially like this version, and this one.  Oh, and this.  Really, I could easily link to a handful more, but I think you get the idea.  I love this tote design for the opportunity to play around with color and pattern.  Plus, the pattern itself has a bunch of options included for different types of pockets, etc., so the varieties and possibilities for this bag are pretty much endless.  And did I mention that it's the perfect size for an everyday bag?

I used fabric from Ellen Luckett Baker's Stamped line for Kokka, a red text print my mother-in-law brought me from QuiltCon (bless her!), and some of my favorite Robert Kaufman yard-dyed linen/cotton.

I snapped these quick photos then shipped the bag off across the world to my swap recipient at the end of March.  I can't reveal who she is... because I'm not sure if she's received it yet!  If not, I really hope she does soon.  Needless to say, I have plans to make one of these for myself in the very near future.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Sewing for Easter

Our family doesn't really need Easter outfits.  Our Easter celebrations aren't typically more formal that a slightly-more-fancy-than-usual brunch.  But my childhood memories of Easter involve new, either store-bought or hand sewn, outfits for church.  And I just can't help but want to sew dresses at this time of year.  So, I made this dress for Ellie, inspired by Sew-vivor's emerald challenge and this dress from Garnet Hill Kids.

The dress isn't perfect, but I'm really proud of it for several reasons.  First, I drafted the pattern myself, from scratch.  I made two muslins of the bodice before I finally got it right.  Second, it has an invisible zipper.  I've sewn them in before, but always from a pattern.  The thing about invisible zippers is you have to sew them in last, when you're sewing the seam, and that makes me nervous.  Fortunately, after reading this tutorial and this one for encouragement, I did it... and it worked!  Finally, my daughter adores it, and  I love that it fits her personality.  It's bold, yet elegant; pretty without being too girly; and a bit unexpected.

Of course I had to make a matching tie for Henry, which he pretended not to like, but I think he actually did. I used this tutorial from Very Homemade for the tie, but lengthened it to fit a nine year old.

If I make this dress again, I'll definitely buy more fabric for the skirt so I can add more gathers and make it even fuller.  Also, I had planned to add some appliqued embelishment to the skirt, but ran out of time.  I'd like to do that next time.  But my goofball daughter likes this version, and enjoyed modeling it for you.  Can you tell?