Thursday, April 16, 2015

letting go...

.... and so after 16 years of ups and downs a new chapter begins.

It's not easy, I find letting go of a dream I've tried to hold on to for so long is super hard.

At least I'm glad I still find sewing calming (I made six Lola pouches and a few bags in the last few days). And I have new patterns ready to be released soon. I find keeping my hands and my mind busy is the best way forward.

Wish me luck :) Svetlana

Monday, April 13, 2015

sewing machine bag

Hello friends, hope you all got some time to sew and relax this weekend.

I sewed like a mad woman all weekend long (well, I did other stuff too, but most of my free time was taken up by sewing). On Saturday morning I got it in my head that I needed a bag for my sewing machine. Because, really, Sewtopia is just around the corner and I had no way of lugging my super heavy Juki there and back.

I was sort of winging it the whole time I was sewing this bag which meant lots of ripping, and re-sewing, and re-cutting, as well as re-thinking the whole concept. I'm quite happy with the finished bag though, so it was well worth all that extra headache :).

See, it fits the machine perfectly.

I wanted this bag to be extra sturdy so I used linen and decor weight fabric for both exterior as well as lining. I also added Soft and Stable to main panels, plus many layers of SF101 and fusible fleece to sides and lining, to make sure my machine will be protected while being transported.

And pockets, of course. I added pockets to both front and back of the bag. The back one fits a 12" x 18" cutting mat. I almost skipped adding pockets to the lining but I'm glad I took the extra time to add them as they make this giant of a bag a lot more functional - bag's finished size is 15" tall x 20" wide x 9" deep.

Now I feel a leap closer to being ready for my first ever sewing retreat, yay!

Talk to you soon friends. Svetlana

Thursday, April 9, 2015

how to sew fabric tote hadles {a tutorial}

I think it's pretty obvious by now I enjoy making all kinds of bags and totes. Today I'd like to share my most favorite way of making fabric handles.

A few notes before we start:

- I use a combination of quilting cotton fabric (or linen/ cotton blend) and SF101 interfacing (you can use other medium weight fusible interfacing if preferred) to make my handles.

- Use walking foot if you have one - it insures all fabric layers are fed through the machine evenly.

- Lengthen your stitch -  adjust stitch on your sewing machine ( I usually use 2.5 stitch on my Juki, I set it to 3 when making fabric handles).

- Use thicker thread if you have one - your stitches will be more visible which will add to the appeal of your handles. I like to use 30 wt thread.


Let's start, shall we?

1. Decide how wide you want your finished handles to be (I like 1.25" wide handles for most of my totes), multiply this number by 4 
(1.25 x 4= 5) so my fabric needs to be 5" wide.

2. Decide how long you want your handles to be (mine are 15" long).

3. Cut two 5" x 15" rectangles out of quilting cotton and two 5" x 15" rectangles out of medium weight fusible interfacing.

4. Follow manufacturer's directions to adhere fusible interfacing to the wrong side of both 5” x 15” fabric rectangles.

5. Fold handle in half lengthwise, press. Open the handle, use the middle seam as a guide and press  long raw edges towards the middle.

6. Fold in half again – long raw edges are hidden inside, press and pin (or use Wonder clips) to prevent layers from shifting.

7. Bring your handle to sewing machine, hold both top and bobbin thread in your fingers (picture below) as you start topstitching - this will prevent any knots from forming on the underside of your handle.

8. Topstitch along the open long edge first using 1/8" seam allowance taking pins/ clips out as you go. Topstitch along the other long side as well. You can leave your handle with just one line of topstitching along each long edge, I personally prefer doing another set of topstitching 1/4" from the first line.

9.  Make a second handle following the same directions. Trim the threads.

10. Congratulations!!! Your handles are now finished and ready to be used.

 I hope you find this tutorial useful. 

Have a lovely day. Svetlana

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

stash - busting blog hop

Hello, happy Wednesday to you all!

Today is my stop on The Stash - Busting blog hop celebrating two new fantastic books - Kim (retro mama)'s Scrap Happy Sewing and 50 Fat Quarter Makes.

I loved browsing through my e-copies of both of these books and making lists of all the projects I want to make :). 

 And look, I even made this super fun Scrap Patch Pincushion from Kim's book already. I loved being able to use up some of my precious Cotton + Steel scraps.

It was such a fun and interesting project. Just look all those pins I had to use to hold the pleats in place :). Maddening, but totally well worth it.

stash-busting blog hop - apple mats

I'm also really looking forward to making these adorable apple potholders soon. Aren't they the sweetest? I think they'd make perfect housewarming gifts, or maybe even teachers' gifts.

 Retro Mama: Scrap Happy Sewing | What to Make with Scrap Fabric

Oh, and how cute are these two little bears? Seriously!!! I'm not usually a huge fan of making stuffed toys but I don't think I'll be able to resist much longer.

I hope you'll follow along this fun blog hop to see what other talented peeps have to share. Here's the line up.

Thu 2nd  - Retro Mama
Fri 3rd  - SCC
Wed 8th  - S.O.T.A.K Handmade
Thu 9th  - Fabricworm
Fri 10th  - Clover & Violet
Mon 13th  - Robot Mom Sews
Tue 14th  - Vivid Felicity
Wed 15th  - Cut To Pieces
Thu 16th Straight Grain
Fri 17th  - Sew Take A Hike
Mon 20th  - Vintage Grey
Tue 21st  - Miss Print
Wed 22nd  - Pink Penguin
Thu 23rd  - Sew Creative Blog
Fri 24th  - Follow the White Bunny
Mon 27th  - A Bright Corner
Tue 28th  - Sew Justine Sew
Wed 29th  - LRstitched

Have a lovely day. Svetlana

Friday, April 3, 2015

one more Idea Pouch

Happy Friday, everyone!

After finishing smaller version of Idea Pouch for my Kindle, I decided to make one more regular sized Idea Pouch before I put the pattern aside for a while. It's funny how I totally despise making the same quilt twice, but I will happily make quite a few of the same pouches and enjoy the process every time.

I made this AMH + lovely textured gray fabric (which sadly I have no idea what it is) :( + mustardy Emmy Grace fabric version. It fits a regular composition notebook, but could easily fit an IPad as well.

This Idea Pouch is coming with me to Sewtopia Chicago, I hope my partner in Secret Swap will love it as much as I do.

Wishing you all a super lovely weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to Finish it up Friday.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

idea pouch for Kindle

Lately I've been all about cleaning, and organizing, and getting rid of stuff I don't need while taking better care of the things I like. So, after being all happy about a little pouch I made for my camera, I decided my Kindle (which I recently "inherited" from my daughter :)) needed a new home as well.

I wanted something simple, pretty, as well as functional and I think this smaller version of Idea pouch fits the bill perfectly. I used the original pattern designed by Michelle patterns and printed all the pieces at 75% since the original size was too large for my Kindle.

I'm kind of obsessed with Art Gallery's Maker fabric collection and how it pairs so beautifully with Essex linen. Such a perfect match, don't you think?

I like how this Idea pouch has an extra pocket for my earbuds as well as a few pens and a notebook. Such a clever design, ♥♥♥.

I so love the addition of this simple little tab - tutorial is also by Michelle, you can find it here. I think it adds just the right amount of finesse to the finished pouch.

This is my second Idea pouch, you can find more info on the first one here. As you can see, my first Idea pouch was the original size. I keep my notebook and pens in it and it's already served me so well. I hope to get as much, or even more, use out of my new smaller Idea pouch. Who knows, I might even get over my dislike of ebooks, but for now it's all about having my Breaking Bad episodes with me on the go :).

Have a lovely day friends. Svetlana

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

lola pouch {a chubby version}

I don't usually carry my camera with me, but when I do, I have this bad habit of just tossing it in my purse and off I go on my merry way :). I know, horrible idea, isn't it? So last night I decided it was time I changed that and made a pouch specifically for my camera.

I came up with this "chubby version" of my Lola pouch. I did a few changes to the original pattern as I wanted this pouch to snugly fit my camera as well as provide plenty of protection.

I used Essex linen and Maker quilting cotton (I fused SF101 to its wrong side to make it more sturdy) for the exterior of the pouch. I also added store bought piping to add a little bit more interest and color. I love how simple additions like that add a lot of character to finished projects.

Now, since this pouch's main purpose is to protect my camera, I used Soft and Stable instead of my usual fusible fleece between exterior and lining. Works like a charm, such squishy perfection. Oh, and I used super soft AMH flannel for lining (I fused SF101 to its wrong side as well). Yes, lots and lots of layers in this little pouch.

I decided to finish zipper binding by hand as the thickness of layers and smaller size of the pouch made it a quite tricky to do nicely even machine top stitching.

In case you were wondering about the scale, here's my chubby pouch side by side with both small and large original versions of  Lola pouch.

I so enjoy this kind of quick and simple, yet very useful projects. And my camera will finally have a  safe and cozy place to rest while we're out and about :).

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