Handmade Mini Quilted Suedecloth & Faux Leather Tote Handbag

I hate when I get the urge late at night to start making something because I just know I’ll stay up waaaaay too late working on it.  Of course, that was the case last night.  The result, this mini quilted handbag:


You wouldn’t believe, but this started out as something COMPLETELY different.  I was just sort of “wingin’ it” so it’s no wonder it ended up totally opposite of what I originally had in mind!  I’ve been wanting to do a large shoulder/tote bag out of this material so this made a great miniature mock up.  

This was the first time making handles like these, and it was easier than I thought.  It wasn’t wise however, to attempt sewing them on while being so tired.  What a pain to put on!  It also didn’t help that I had to put them on once the main body of the bag was already constructed (due to my “wingin’ it”).


I can’t wait to make a full size quilted tote, but next time I’ll be more prepared.  It would be super cute to add some rivets, a snap closure, and a pocket inside.

Stay tuned!

Black Vinyl/Faux Leather Bucket Bag

This is one of those projects that seems like it’s on the right path until you get about half way done, and realize you want to throw it across the room.  Even though it came out basically how I envisioned, there are quite a few things that need to be fixed.

I even went back and forth on whether it would just be a shoulder bag…no, a bucket bag…wait, shoulder? No, definitely a bucket bag.  Lol most of this happened because I was too lazy to write and plan out my process before starting.  The whole point is to build prototypes and patterns anyways so it’s not entirely a bad thing.

Overall, I’m happy it worked out and I know I’ll be super pleased once I make the necessary tweaks that will really up the quality of the handbag!


Brown Faux Suede Fringe Clutch Handbag

Stayed up waaaaaay too late last night working on this clutch.  It took me so long just to get motivated to start, but once I did, I couldn’t stop.  The original vision I had in mind was for a crossbody bag, however I didn’t have any matching hardware to make it possible.

This was the first attempt using both faux suede and fringe in a sewing project.  It was surprisingly easy to work with.  I didn’t need any special needle and my regular machine foot worked fine.

The whole basis for the clutch was actually because I wanted to use the Aztec print fabric that I used as the lining.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE it for some reason.  Even the woman at the cutting table was drawn to it and wasn’t sure why.

I love that it is colorful and fun, and stands out so well against the faux suede without being overly bright and loud.


I still have some faux suede left over so I want to play around with it and see what else I can come up with!

Handmade Baby or Infant Onesie Part 2

Just a quick post for the second handmade baby onesie I just finished.  This time I chose to use the sleeveless style from the same Mammacandoit pattern found HERE.

I decided to use the same main fabric instead of a woven for the snap area, and I like it much better.  It was a little more difficult to maneuver, but I prefer the way it looks.  It also caused a difficulty when putting the snaps on because it was thicker, but they came out more aligned and more neat than the first onesie.

I wish I had enough matching thread to use in the serger, but I wasn’t about to go buy more just for one project.  Considering it won’t show, the white was fine and more importantly, I didn’t have to change the threads!  

I thought I picked out the same knit material, but I soon realized this one was much thicker and stretchier.  It was a little bit more difficult to work with so I did get some pinching and bunching in some areas.

Loving making these and I hope more of my friends start having babies so I have an excuse to make more!  Next up, I’ll try out the long sleeve style when I pick up more fabric!

WIP Wednesday: Do you have multiple WIP’s?

Like most crafters, I have a couple of projects going on simultaneously.  Sometimes it’s from the boredom of working the same item hour after hour, sometimes creative block forces you to take a break, or if you’re like me, you just have so many different things you want to tackle all at once!

Another reason that I’ve noticed is as simple as giving my body a break.  Working a craft such as knitting for example, tends to use the same muscles constantly, and for each project.  I feel that when I’m starting to feel too tense or tired, switching gears to a different medium helps by engaging different muscles and creative visions.  Anyone else feel the same way?

As of right now, I’ve just been posting finished objects (FO).  I enjoy seeing all of the work in progress (WIP) posts from other bloggers, so I thought maybe I should join the fun.  It’s cool to see the progress from week to week, and give people a sneak peak of what you’re working on.  Many times I tend to finish projects quickly, so this may only happen whenever I’m working on a knitting or crocheting project since those usually take me longe
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This week’s WIP is a knitting project, specifically a beanie.  I’m trying out a sock yarn for the first time and man is is time consuming!  I’img_2687ve never used needles smaller than a size 4 and this yarn requires size 2!  I feel like it takes forever to finish a row.  I’m working it flat instead of in the round because I wanted to use a tubular cast on.  The thought of trying to work the foundation rows in the round with that many stitches made me cringe.  It’s hard to see the stitches because they’re so small, but I LOVE the clean stretchy edge of a tubular cast on. It’s so great for beanies.


 

 

 

I tried to adjust the picture to show the stitch detail, but it ended up altering the color.  I’m using Deborah Norville Serenity Sock Weight in the color Black.  Since this is the first time testing out this yarn, I think it’s a little too fine for this project.  I think if I were to double up and use two skeins at once, it may have given a more desired thickness.  I’ll just stick with it as is since I’m too lazy to redo the tubular cast on, and I’ll try it as a small swatch before beginning again.

 

DIY Dog Harness Part 2: Valentine’s Day

Super excited that I was able to fit in TWO fully finished sewing projects this week!  I’m trying out a few different ways to get the perfect fit/style for Karla’s dog harness.  For Round 2, I really wanted to make her a cute Valentine’s Day themed harness (mainly so I could browse all of the cute seasonal fabrics at JoAnn’s).  This dog harness was a major improvement from the first trial, and I can see a few more areas I’d like to adjust.

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DIY Valentine’s Day dog harness with parachute buckle

I ditched the velcro closure and opted for a parachute buckle, which makes the harness way more secure and sturdy.  I didn’t have the adjustable piece for the buckle so I had to make sure the nylon strapping was made to fit.  It’s okaayy, but I think on the next trial I will go ahead with an adjustable option to make for a better fit around her rib cage.  I think the neck strap needs to be shaped a little better as well (although I like that it is a little loose so it’s not choking her).  For the chest/belly strap, I thought I was going to like bringing more of the fabric up around her back, however, I’m still deciding if I’d prefer it shorter with longer strapping.

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Closure across dog’s back…buckle feeds through top strap loop (not shown) before connecting closing buckle

I also added an extra layer of batting inside for extra warmth and comfort.  I also like that it gives the harness a more soft and cushioned look overall:

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Chest/belly side of dog harness includes layers of batting sandwiched between the outer fabrics. Provides comfort and gives shape and stability.

Overall, I’m really happy with this trial harness.  It was totally functional and gave her plenty of movement to run freely.  Hopefully, I can improve this piece even further, and settle on a standard harness pattern with a perfect fit!

Toddler Handknit Camo Beanie with Pom Pom

I’m not a huge fan of the Red Heart Super Saver yarns, but they make a great choice to save money when working on practice pieces.  Nothing is more frustrating than wasting an expensive skein of yarn on a project that comes out less than stellar.

My little nephew is always gone on Army posts, so I was inspired to make a little camo beanie for him.  I happened to have this Super Saver yarn on hand in the color Woodsy Sylvestre.  I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about how the camo pattern was working up, but from a distance, it really shows.  I think what really pulls it together is the pom pom.  I originally chose to leave it off as I’ve never been a big pom pom fan (although they’ve grown on me significantly).  It just gives it that extra level of cuteness I think.

I didn’t have a pattern to reference and I was just creating as I went along, so I’m really pleased that the measurements fit him perfectly!  I was so excited to try out my new pom pom maker as well.  It’s so much better than using a makeshift template or my hand like I used to lol!

Nighttime Doodles…

Major procrastination happening right now as there are about a million other productive things I should be doing.  Despite what my boyfriend thinks, there isn’t some magical laundry fairy that is going to save me the hassle tonight.  Realized I needed to take a much needed time out from the real world today to let some creativity flow and get a bit of practice in.  Trying to keep myself motivated and inspired to push forward and make my dreams a reality.  I’d be lying if I said the thought of failing doesn’t freak me out, but to imagine never even trying is a much scarier feeling.  All I can do is prepare as best I can, work harder than I’ve ever had to, and never stop believing and KNOWING that I can make it happen!

Inspiration in an Unlikely Place…

After living in southern California my whole life, I’m a little embarrassed to admit there are so many places and attractions I have yet to explore – including my own city.  In fact, the list of places I have been is probably a billion times shorter.  Well, after 30 years, I FINALLY made it out to the OC Fair last weekend.  I know, I must be kidding right? Sadly, no.  My previous attempt to make it out years ago was a flop, so I was pretty excited to get my hands on all of the legit fair food plastered all over social media every summer. I mean, where else can you walk around munching on a giant turkey leg and stuffing your face with bacon covered everything?
To my surprise, there was an entire building dedicated to various arts and crafts!  I just love seeing what amazing things people create as well as being surrounded by others who share an appreciation for it.  I was so excited when I came across the area dedicated to hand knit and hand crocheted items.  There were all sorts of people sitting around trying out knitting and crocheting and it was like I had wandered into a some crafter’s paradise.  I rarely get a chance to work or be around others who love this kind of thing so I always get a joy seeing others like me.  It’s great to see kids enjoying themselves because it makes me feel reassured that these crafts aren’t dying out anytime soon.  It also proves it’s no longer just a “granny” hobby.

I was so excited to learn this group was more than just random.  It was a Knots of Love booth.  If you haven’t heard of them, they are a group dedicated to donating handmade hats and blankets to patients.  Please click the link above to visit their site to learn more as I am not a part of their organization.  This is something super important to me and have always wanted to do.  Not only would it give me an opportunity to have an outlet (after all, you can only make so much for yourself and your family), but also to spread a bit of love and happiness to let others know that they are cared about.  I never really researched specific groups to participate in, or how exactly to go about donating, etc.  On top of that, there was no way I ever had any free time to actually make the items to donate.  I’m so excited that I now have the time to actively pursue helping by donating my goods to such a great cause!  So, I grabbed one of their pamphlets and I’m ready to get working on some items (and hopefully post some of the progress along the way).  Stay tuned!

The Journey Begins…or continues…

For as long as I can remember, I have always had this undying love for making things.  As a kid, I was always the one staying inside coloring in her new coloring book while the other kids chased each other.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I spent my fair share of freeze tag, playing softball and such, but there was nothing so satisfying as quietly perfecting my shading and outlining techniques with a fresh box of Crayolas.

Obviously, just about any child loves drawing and coloring (which is evident from the one-of-a-kind masterpieces covering the walls around the house from my nieces), but for some, it becomes so much more.  I very soon realized how fascinating it is to see an image completely unfold right before your eyes.  To be able to create something from nothing…to create a tangible expression of the vision in your head is nothing short of exhilarating.  For me, drawing was only the beginning of the creative outlets I would adopt.  Although it still remains my most beloved hobby, I have long since put aside those childhood dreams of working as a Disney animation artist.  Sometimes, life pulls you in directions you never saw and pretty soon, you’re a full-time college student, working nearly full-time at a lousy pizza joint with no time for the things you once loved.  Unfortunately, all too often this is the reality for a lot of us.  It’s okay though, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Every moment has led to wonderful memories and opportunities that have shaped who I am.  I digress.

My first true experience with the handmade world began fairly early.  I can remember watching my mom sit for hours surrounded by various colors of half-used yarn balls, and the clanking together of her aluminum crochet hooks.  I remember all of the dainty little doilies and reusable dishcloths throughout the years.  I’ll never forget how instantly I grew obsessed with practicing.  The repetitive action of stitching, unraveling, stitching, unraveling, there’s something almost therapeutic and meditative in the process.  Although this remained my mom’s preferred craft of choice, I craved to expand further.  I figured, if I can crochet, why can’t I knit?  I made a trip to the craft store and picked up my first set of knitting needles, 1 skein of cheap yarn, and a good ol’ copy of Knitting for Dummies.  Jokes aside, the Dummies series are a great start up tool for those unable to attend any formal lessons/classes.  I was also amazed at the incredible amount of online tutorials and guides that make learning a cinch!

The interest I would later develop for sewing sort of happened by accident.  It wasn’t until some time later (in my mid-20’s) that I realized how cool and how possible it could be to learn.  I think for most of us that aren’t raised learning a specific craft, or have no previous introduction, it appears much more intimidating than it actually is.  I remember having a pair of jeans that were, like most are for us 5’2″ ladies, too long.  Sure, I had previously attempted (successfully) to hem a pair by hand but I thought, “What if I had a machine, could I do it and nobody would tell the difference?” and “What else could I possibly make with it??”  Combine that crafty impulse with an amazing almost 50% off Amazon discount and I became the proud owner of a Brother computerized sewing machine.  Here I was, a brand new fancy-shmancy machine and no idea what I was doing.  Sewing for Dummies to the rescue!  After all, it worked for my knitting, right?  Countless YouTube videos, craft blogs, hours of reading various techniques, project after project and I still have so much more to learn!

It would be impossible to bring this post to a close without touching on my most recent endeavor: paper crafting.  I remember I had first been exposed to the awesomeness that is scrapbooking sometime around my freshman year in college.  I made a few basic attempts but believe me, NOTHING to rave about and certainly should not pop up in a portfolio.  Nevertheless, it sparked this feeling of joy and contentment and that’s when I knew I needed to continue to learn more.  I couldn’t believe the endless possibilities that existed and the variety of ways people could manipulate paper!

Perhaps as equally thrilling as seeing your creation come to life, is the sense that you’re creating something that is one-of-a-kind.  Even with some similarities, there will always be some subtle differences that make each item or piece unique.  That is the beauty of handmade.  It represents passion, sweat, love, drive, and a desire put one’s own individual twist into every project.  Each item carries a small piece of the crafter, a small story that is expressed in every color, every stitch, every aspect.