Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Super Tote

There was a little secret sewing last week, and now that it's been gifted I can share the Super Tote I made for my friend Sharon/smbrendle's birthday. You probably know the pattern is by noodlehead, so I expected it to be a straight-forward sew, and it was. Not to say I didn't have to reread a couple of sections and zoom in on a few photos, but overall it came together just like it was supposed to.

It's touted as an "extra roomy tote" and I agree, as it finishes at 15"x15"3.5". There were a couple of options, and here's what I went with:
  • fully lining the front pocket rather than just a facing - in my mind it was easier, and was just a really nice finish.
  • using ByAnnie's Soft and Stable for the sides of the bag, vs. canvas or medium weight fusible interfacing - I was using quilting cotton for the exterior fabric, and I occasionally have bubbling issues with heavier interfacings, and I didn't want to risk that. If I'd used home dec, I might have gone that way, but even so, I like the feel and structure of the Soft and Stable, so who knows.
A few other tidbits of note:
  • The piping. What I found in pre-made didn't go color-wise, and luckily I had a length of cording lying around. So in moments, I made my own. Noodlehead has a nice tutorial if you haven't done it before, though for the top of the tote pocket, bias wasn't necessary, and I had my fabric glue stick handy, so used that. But talk about easy. And that way I was able to use coordinating fabric.
  • The zipper. Let's just say it was easy-peasy. Here's one of the spots I had to reread and glance at photos, but really, it's a clever technique.
  • If I had a misgiving, it would be that the sides of the bag are so much flimsier than the main bag exteriors. The side exterior is a linen blend (I think Kokka.), so of course it has a nice hand, and both the side exterior and lining are pleated, which it a super cool detail, but still. It's probably all in my fabric/interfacing choices, and it's perfectly functional as is, but just thought I'd mention it as something to think about. And by the way, the interior pockets are the same fabric as those exterior sides and were an easy install.

All in all, the tote was an enjoyable make and a more than functional finish. Indeed, a very super tote.

Monday, July 27, 2015


There's no good reason, really, why this month's Bee Sewcial assignment kind of freaked me out. In a word, think "reflection," presented by Karen/capitolaquilter. A beautiful palette, a Pinterest board for inspiration, and a blog post with clarification. Honestly, when I finally set to do my blocks, they came together easily and I really enjoyed making them. Go figure.

I knew this first one was simplistic, but that's what I was after. Measuring 11"x15", I turned it every which way and liked this orientation the best.

I was actually a bit sad when this second block was done, and I may need to expand on the design another time. It measures 12"x19.5". Like the block above, the teeny-tiny bits add a nice little emphasis.

Whew. Mission accomplished and all that fretting for nothing. Watch the #BeeSewcial hashtag on Instagram for all of the bee's blocks, and there's a running list of my monthly blocks below. I've now received all my blocks for my month in June, so it's time to come up with a plan for them. Yikes!