The Plaid Post

Charming Handbag, meet Disarming Pintucks

Monday, 21 July 2008 12:23 by sara

Remember this bag from Sketchbook Crafts? I was so in love with it, but couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on a purse. Crazy Husband, who just doesn't understand how complicated this sewing thing is, suggested I just make my own. Really, because it's just that easy?!  


Motivated by Mr. Plaid's confidence, I decided to modify the Charming Handbag project (from Bend The Rules Sewing, of course), to try to get the feel of Sketchbook Crafts' bag. I used what I had in the stash, which was a somewhat stretchy dark blue heavy cotton (no idea what it is, really, found it at Joann's in the Red Tag fabric section last Christmas).   For the pintucks, I used a grey and white shirting (also from the Red Tag section).


I just sort of winged it on the pintucks, but I was pretty happy with how they turned out.  I just made the pintucks in the grey fabric, then sewed the pintucked fabric to the front outside piece before putting the bag together. 

Here you can see the grey fabric and tiny stripes a little better. One of my favorite parts of the Charming Handbag is the casing for the handles. It gives the bag such a cute little pucker.  

Smaller than the original bag that I loved, but a fun modification of the original pattern.  


Categories:   My Projects | Sewing
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Fabric shopping frenzy

Saturday, 19 July 2008 19:30 by sara

I know most people would wait until the fabric actually arrived before posting about the great new fabrics they added to their stash.  I'm too excited.

I woke up this morning and spent a little time on Etsy while eating breakfast (have you tried the new Kashi granola? Cocoa Beach is delicious!)

Moda Swell Pink Roses and

Sandi Henderson Ginger Blossom Blue, both from Jamie's Cozy Cottage.

Erin McMorris Park Slope Collection.  I had this in my cart and came back later to buy it, but it was gone. Someone bought it right out from under me! Luckily, Down Shadow Lane was kind enough to make another listing for me.

These are half yard cuts, and I have absolutely no plans for them. But aren't they pretty?! 

If you're looking next week, I'll be the one anxiously hovering in the window, watching for the postman.

Categories:   Shopping
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Throwback Thursday: Another Tea Towel Apron...but different

Thursday, 17 July 2008 19:50 by sara

I originally set out this week thinking I wanted to try a patchwork purse or tote of some sort. I even found a couple in my projects folder. But I'm feeling a little burnt out on bags right now (nevermind the BTRS Charming Handbag I'm finishing up tonight).  Sorting through my stash, I found some tea towels I picked up a few weeks ago at Target, so I decided another tea towel apron was in order. 

Several Wednesday's ago, I gave away this apron, made from Meg's tutorial.  It landed with Emily, who gave it a nice home, and made cobbler in it.

Aprons tend to make me happy, so I thought I'd try one of the tutorials for making a full apron using a tea towel.  Oddly enough, Ben Franklin has instructions, here, for making one, which Jennicakes cleverly transformed with a little bias tape. 

So I'm going to give this a try this week. It will actually be a double-challenge for me, because I'm going to try my hand at making bias tape.  It will be a first, but I've been dying to use the new bias tape maker my Mother In Law tracked down for me.  You know, those things are a little tricky to find!

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Win-It Wednesday: Recycled Bath Mat

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:00 by sara

Before I link to someone's tutorial, I generally ask for their approval.  In my email to them, I explain the idea behind Throwback Thursday and Win-It Wednesday.  One of them once responded, telling me how "brave" I was promising to show a finished project before I'd even started it.  At the time, I didn't think much of it. 

This bathmat, though, almost had me rethinking things...It looked and sounded easy enough, cutting the squares all the same size was the biggest problem I expected to encounter.  Turns out, that part was pretty easy.


It wasn't until I started sewing the squares together, and then sewing the rows together, that I started getting a little nervous.  I was having a difficult time getting everything to line up perfectly.  But it turns out, this project was really very forgiving, and even if the squares don't line up in perfect rows, it still comes up looking really, really good (humble, huh?).


You'll notice I didn't include the optional embroidered footprints.  I think it's a really fun idea, to trace your feet and embroider them. But I started thinking, does the lucky winner of this bathmat really want to step out of the tub onto a stranger's footprints every day? Would you want your husband stepping on my feet everyday? Maybe you wouldn't mind, I'm not sure. But I didn't want to creep anyone out. 


I used some of my favorite scraps, and if you've been reading awhile, you probably recognize some of them.  This is the last of some of these fabrics, and I can say that I'm not that sad to see some of it go. I thought I'd never tire of that Alexander Henry fabric, but after the placemats, I think I've finally seen enough of it.  I do, however, have a new Alexander Henry fabric (birdseed!) that I'm dying to use for a project. I think I have the perfect thing in mind...Soon...

I like this photo of the bathmat in my bathroom. I like how the patchwork squares (24 in.) turned out almost the exact same size as the travertine squares (18 in.) on the floor. I thought it'd be too many squares, but in the end, I think it's fun.  No matter, because this particular bathmat is off to someone else's home. But I'm feeling reassured that the next version will look quite nice in my bathroom.  I also like that you can see a tiny square of my current fuzzy, boring, tan bathmat.


I even cut up my favorite pink towel to use as the back of the mat. I toyed with the idea of using one of our old scrap towels, but those are pretty much covered in paint, and I was thinking that might also freak out the winner. So, a triple-washed, seldom used, favorite pink towel provides the backing. 

Meg's tutorial was great. Straight-forward, easy to follow and fun. The concept was simple enough, really, that once the dimensions were figured for you (lesson learned: pay close attention to the seam allowances!), the whole project was a matter of common sense. It came together really easily. I cut enough squares that I already have a good start on my next one, which will feature browns and blues with maybe just a hint of red here and there. I'm excited to get started on it.

Leave a comment on this post by next Wednesday, and you'll be entered into a random drawing to win the recycled bath mat. Free!


Congratulations and Congratulations

Wednesday, 16 July 2008 11:29 by sara

Two kidlets, two winners!

The random number generator chose Comment No. 27, Jenn, and Comment No. 8, Breanna.  You lucky ladies should be on the lookout for an email from me for delivery details (check your spam folders!)

The rest of you, don't give up! Another chance to win is coming later today. As always, thank you all for reading, and for your wonderful comments.

Categories:   Win-It Wednesday
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Patchwork...It's Addictive, No?

Tuesday, 15 July 2008 21:43 by sara

This patchwork thing is killing me.  Initially, I dreaded cutting 88 small squares, but in the end, I found it sort of therapeutic.  I got carried away and cut way more than 88.  And I'd keep finding more scraps and thinking, "Oh! Yes, this is the one!" and so I'd cut a little more.

Then there was the arranging.  I've been arranging these tiny squares for two days. Just because. I left the whole thing sitting out one night, because I wanted to look at it first thing in the morning with a fresh perspective. Turns out, the baby got to it before I did.  I think she liked it, because she came into the bedroom with a huge smile and two chubby fists full of squares. Deep down, I think I left it out so one of the children would destroy it, and I could start all over again.  It's F-U-N!

I could have arranged and rearranged for weeks. Like a little puzzle. I had to make myself stop.  In order to do so, I spent sometime checking out other patchwork designs. Just to get an idea, you know, of how people are arranging their things.

And I found this:

Adorable pillow from Liz LaMoreux's Little Room on Etsy.

Fun patchwork handbag from A Touch of Stardust.

Sweet little dress from Tickled Pink Girls.

And when I think of patchwork, I always think of quilts. Carolina Patchworks has some of the prettiest quilts in great colors with wonderful designs. I'd love to have her quilts on every bed in my house.  But I can't complain, because we do have a closets full of quilts made by grandparents and great grandparents. 

Fully inspired, I walked away ready to commit to my design...but my bobbin had run out, and it was after ten o' you know what that means

Nonetheless, tomorrow is the big reveal of the Recycled Bath Mat. Don't miss it!

Categories:   My Projects | Shopping
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It's been awhile...

Monday, 14 July 2008 13:14 by sara

...since I had a shopping post.  That's mostly because the things I've been shopping for lately have been extremely dull.  Things like towels (trying to go organic) and sheets (need softer, deep pocket sheets!) These things do not make for interesting blog reading.

These little Stick Keepers from the Small Object are not nearly as practical as sheets and towels, but they are pretty fun. And presumably they are a bit practical, as you can use them as bookmarks, or file markers or that sort of thing...if you happen to be the kind of person who uses bookmarks to hold your spot as opposed to random bills. 

I am crazy about this purse from Sketchbook Crafts. I love the bold color, mixed with the sophistication of the linen pleats. This might actually be the end of my summer purse search (as well it should be, now that we're fully into July).

This idea is genius.  It's a Pram Purse by Vision Handbags.  I love it partly because I love that other countries call strollers "prams," which sounds so much more dignified.  It's also just such a good idea.  That little loop at the top attaches over the handle of your stroller and holds your keys, cell phone, etc. 

Though my stroller has a small compartment to theoretically hold such things, the compartment is actually rather small and usually full of tissues and napkins. So, I generally end up rummaging through the bottom of the stroller to find my purse (usually buried beneath a zillion shopping bags) whenever my phone rings or I need cash to buy a coffee.  I clearly see the need for a Pram Purse.

Incidentally, I discovered the Pram Purse when the lovely Jo left a comment last week.


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