Friday, July 29

What I have been up to - Weeks 29 through 31

The past couple of weeks went by like a blur. This poor little blog has been on autopilot since July 9th... The post scheduling feature has been my best friend. 

 The second surgery went well but the recovery was rough and even though I haven't been in nearly as much pain as for the first installment, I was significantly more  tired and the recovery has not been easy. I am in much better shape today than I have been in the past 7 months I must say, even though there is still the possibility of needing a third surgery in the fall. Time will tell. 

So a slow recovery for me, and then the minute I was back on my feet, there was Bug's 5th birthday to think of.

Then we've had to get ready for our trip... I'm actually blogging from the Philadelphia airport. It's the first time in almost 3 weeks that I have some "free" time to blog. I don't even want to look at my mailbox, I know it's scary. I will get to it I promise :).

Crafting has been way neglected but I did manage a couple of things ... they were just necessary in preparation for our trip. I made a carry bag for bug's car seat to be able to maneuver with it from the car to the plane. The experience of our previous trip taught us that they are a major pain to carry around as is. 

The next two weeks will be all about resting and enjoying being together. No crafting, but shopping, beach, pool and sightseeing. There will be pictures overload :) 

Thursday, July 28

Denim project: A bike basket

This is my new bike. The hubby and I (with bug in tow) have been riding as much as my health issues have allowed in the past 2 months. It's a fun family outing and good exercise that is easy on the back and knees. 

And Bug loves being the princess in the trailer carriage

We live in Maryland, where temperatures are well over 85F over the summer months. I needed to be able to take along a drink, Without having to reach down on the frame (sure way for clumsy me to fall flat on my face). And then there is question of where to stash the cell phone (yes, the geeky me has a ride tracking app on the iPhone), the bike lock and some cash just in case we decided to stop somewhere for a snack. The answer: a bike basket. 

I turned to the blogging world for ideas and stumbled on the excellent tutorial made by Anna on Noodlehead. I had to make a few alteration to accommodate all my goals. No mystery about my love for denim. Sturdy, fun and versatile.

This is the first incarnation. After a couple of uses I decided to add a handle to be able to easily carry the basket when not attached to the bike (I have to remove it to load the bike on the car's bike rack)

I added an inside pocket with a snap
Large enough to fit my iPhone and some cash

Here it is on my bike
And it's big enough to fit a large bottle, and with a handle sturdy enough to carry it if necessary

I love it

Monday, July 25

Fiona's fashions - A pleated skirt

Princess Fiona's wardrobe keeps expanding. I like being able to use those cute prints from my scrap bin. And Bug loves Princess Fiona to look stylish. I'm still struggling with making tops,  making sleeves (that fit) this small is a challenge and there is the extra complication to make it kid friendly. I'm working on it. 
In the mean time, Princess Fiona is getting a new skirt. 

And now that I've figured out how to make pleats, Bug may get a cute new skirt too

Wednesday, July 20

Tutorial - Anthro inspired Denim Farfalle bag

I'm very excited to share my latest handbag creation, a project I recently guest-posted on Someday Crafts. A few months ago I fell in love with this Anthropologie handbag: 
The Farfalle Handbag
Did you know that Farfalle means butterfly in italian? Unfortunately, a three-hundred dollars purse, even this cute, does not fit in my budget. No matter. I decided to make my own. Not in leather but in denim. And here's is how:

NOTE: Measurements account for 1/2inch  sewing allowance around the sides and bottom seams
- Two pieces of 16x12&1/2 inch denim- new or upcycled (new will be stiffer than upcycled)
- Two 3x25 inch strips of denim for the handles
- Two pieces of 6x12&1/2 inch of your choice for the lining, cotton or satin
- One 2x3 inch piece of card stock for the bow template
- 43 to 48 2x3 inch rectangles of denim for the bows
- 1 yard of coordinating blue satin ribbon
- Fray Check
- Sewing machine and sewing supplies
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Magnetic snap (optional)
- Extra material for inside pocket
- Medium weight interfacing (optional)

How-to steps:
  • Round the edges of your card stock for the bow template 
  • Use the bow template to cut the pieces needed for the bows and apply fray check on the edges
  • Make an accordion with 4 fold "peaks" on the side that will be up
  • With a matching thread, secure the fold by threading through the folds twice 
  • Secure with a knot
  • Cut the pieces of matching ribbon for the center of the bows (1.5" long)
  • Put a dab of hot glue on the back of the bow tucks
  • Put the end of the ribbon on the hot glue let it cool for a couple of minutes 
  • Put another dab of hot glue on the end of the ribbon and fold over
  • You will need roughly the same number of light and dark bows
  • You will save time by stitching all the bows then applying the ribbons in batch of 6-8 bows 

Make the bag shell - I didn't make a detailed tutorial for this part as there are a number of very good existing ones around the blogosphere. There is a very detailed one HERE.
  • Cut the fabric pieces for the outside shell and the lining
  • Sew the outer shell and the lining for a basic bag. 
  •  Tuck in the top corners of the outer shell as shown on the picture below i.e. 2" wide x 3" tall
  • Pin the sides and bottom of the shell
  • Optional step : add one or 2 inside pockets to the lining
  •  Add a pin a the corner of your tuck
  • Top stitch the fold all the way around
  • Once top stitched, the outer shell should look as shown below
  • Optional step : fuse the interfacing to the outer shell
  • Pin the lining and outer shell right sides together along the top of the bag lining up the side seam
  •  Don't forget you will need a hole in the bottom of the lining to turn the bag right side out
  • Stitch along the bag opening with a 3/4" seam allowance and turn the bag right side out
  • Optional - Place a magnetic snap for the bag's closure using the 3/4" fold of denim as support
  • Close the opening in the lining of the bag
  • Cut and fold the straps for the bag  as shown - first in half, then fold the edges in like for bias tape
  • Tuck the short edges in
  • Top stitch all sides of each strap
  • Pin the straps about 1 1/2" from the top corners
  • Stitch the handles on the bag 
  • Layout the bows evenly on the front side of the bag alternating dark and light ones
  • For the layout below you need 43 bows (21 light and 22 dark) 5 across by 9 high (minus 2 at the top corners)
  • You will need more 5 bows for a tighter layout
  • Put a dab of hot glue on each side of the center ribbon 
  • Secure all bows to the bag's outer shell

All done - Good news, it cost under $20 even with new denim and interfacing



You may also like...