Friday, August 29, 2014

Bag a Week: Messenger Bag

It is my solemn duty to answer any and all of Cakestina's craft questions in her cosplay adventures, so naturally, when she asked about how to make a messenger bag for a Lucca costume, I got very excited.

Actually, I didn't make this one for Christina. I made it for me. I made it as a purse, but then Ben asked if this was attempt #2 at a messenger bag, and I realized that it basically is almost perfect for that Lucca costume.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


With practice, adding elastic to your project can be very easy, and the benefits are huge! You can use elastic in a number of different ways, but most commonly, you will find it in the waistband of skirts, pants, and shorts.

There are two ways to add elastic: make a casing, or sew it directly on your fabric.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bag a Week: Drawstring Sling Bag

This week's blag-a-bag is an experiment with the following:

  • drawstring closure
  • circular base
  • sling strap
    (answer: no, but not for lack of trying)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Off the Needles: TARDIS Cowl

This is kind of a Throwback Thursday post, since I made this in November 2013 before the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. It seemed appropriate to post it this week, since the new season is starting, with the 12th Doctor!

I saw this TARDIS shawl a long time ago, but since I rarely wear shawls myself, I used the motif on a small cowl instead, using Madeline Tosh Pashmina in cobalt.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new serger. I had been looking around for a while, and finally got an excuse to buy a new one when my mom's old Hobbylock broke down, and I gave her the Husqvarna Viking I bought a few years ago, but rarely used. I absolutely love this Babylock! It's super easy to set up for different types of stitches, and the automatic threading thing is amazeballs.

You might be asking, "What in the hell is a serger, and do I need one?" And I am going to say, "A serger is awesome," and "It depends."


Friday, August 15, 2014

Bag a Week: Zippered Box

I'm not sure I would call this a bag, but this zippered box does have space to hold things!

I found this large print twill at Britex, and bought it to make another tablecloth, but there was enough left over to make a blag-a-bag.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Understanding Sewing Patterns: Cut it Out!

Last week I went through the first half of sewing prep: getting your pattern set up. If you have your pattern pieces and are ready to start cutting, this is where you want to be.

Besides your pattern and fabric, you'll want a good pair of fabric shears, and lots of sharp pins.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bag a Week: Polka Dot Tote

This week's Blag a Bag is a little late, but worth the wait, I think. It's a simple colour-block tote, with long handles and a super cute red and white polka dot print.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Asymmetric Detail

In a world where symmetry is beautiful, my attention is always caught by asymmetric fashion. I think this is the point of using asymmetry in designs; we are so primed to see symmetrical shapes, having something a little bit "off" makes us stop and look. I also love it because asymmetry goes very wrong very quickly. It doesn't take much for something to look terrible, which makes it a real challenge to do it right.

In 2011, when colour blocking was becoming en vogue once again, I had an idea for a skirt with a large asymmetrical block. I started with a basic side-zip sewing pattern, and used tracing paper to chop up the front panel, and add the appropriate seam allowances.

I had some vibrant cobalt blue dupioni silk, but not a whole lot of it. A simple silver in a matching silk dupioni seemed like the best foil for it, and here we go:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Understanding Sewing Patterns: Proper Preparation

Assuming: you have a pattern, you have fabric, and the right notions, you're ready to sew. The truth is, though, that the glamour of sewing is kind of a myth. I'm pulling a number out of my butt, but I'd say 80% of "sewing" is actually preparation and finishing. You really don't do a whole lot of sewing when you're "sewing."

That being said, the secret to any great project is proper preparation and fine finishing. This post is going to be all about the prep work.

Enjoy this nicely folded pattern while you can!
It will look NOTHING like this when you're done.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Bag a Week: Double Trouble

One of the goals in my bag-a-week campaign is to design the right bag for myself. Actually this has always been true for any time I've made a bag, especially since my purse needs change so frequently. In the past few years, I've really gotten into Vera Bradley purses, which you can't fail to miss if you've seen me around, since their patterns can be quite, uh, vibrant. What I especially love about their bags are all the little pockets inside. Naturally this means that my bags need to have a million pockets.