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May 4, 2006

Finished: Weekender Travel Bag

The bag, it is finished!

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The Specs:
-Pattern: Weekender Travel Bag, by Amy Butler
-Start to Finish: April 24 to May 3
-For: me (sewed along with the Sew? I Knit! crowd).

My opinion of the pattern? The pattern was all you could ask it to be: cute, and well written. I was a little surprised at how complicated the whole operation was (lots of shopping, measuring, cutting, basting, pinning, ripping, resewing, and hand stitching involved there) but it was worth the trouble. I’d recommend it for any of you sewey types out there. Just watch out for that piping. It’s a doozie.

How did I do? The finished bag is a bit lumpy, but in a charming way. I'll be the first to admit that it was filled with laundry and pinched and prodded into submission before its photo shoot. In real life it’s a bit more schlumpy and casual. I was right in thinking that the pattern was a little above my skill level, but I learned a lot and I’m really glad I tried it…sometimes you just get lucky and things work out.

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Final Verdict: Yes, oh yes, we like it!

And for those of you who want to know...

The Damage:
-Sewing machines required: 2 (sometimes you just need a different zipper foot).
-Number of times I cleaned and oiled one of the above machines hoping that it would magically improve my sewing skills: 3
-Sewing Machine needles sacrificed: 2 broken, 1 bent, 2 blunted.
-Spools of thread: 3.5 (by the end it wasn't even coordinating).
-Number of times I said "Ow!" while making this bag: 2,541 (pins, rotary cutter, needles, iron...sewing is a dangerous sport)!

May 1, 2006

So where's the bag?

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I spent the weekend sewing away like a madperson on my Weekender Travel Bag for the sew-i-knit! bag-along (which ended yesterday) but I'm not quite finished yet.

Aside from realizing that I’d blown through all my thread before I was halfway through the project, things are going really, really well. Piping may be my nemesis, but yesterday I conquered and subdued it (with the help of lots and lots of thread). I do fully realize that my sewing hubris may cause the lining to spontaneously combust on me, but I’ll take my chances and say that this is looking to be the best sewing project yet…finally knocking that camouflage dress I sewed in college out of the top spot.

Tonight's Assignment: To stitch a couple more bits of the lining together and get it to go inside the bag. That’s it!

Of course, being in hypersew mode, I didn't pause to take any pictures. You get more vintage needles today, ok?

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April 25, 2006

6 months

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Yesterday marked six months since I started blogging here. Time flies, eh? I'm not going to get mushy on y'all or anything, I just thought I'd rest on the old laurels and get away with posting pictures you've already seen. To be perfectly frank, I'm a little surprised at how much I've accomplished in my spare time.

On the Weekender Bag front: I'm. Still. Cutting. Out. Pattern. Pieces. Last night I could possibly have finished all the cutting, but I accidentally slashed myself with the rotary cutter (these things tend to slow down production). Don't worry; I didn’t bleed on the fabric. I mention these things purely to elicit sympathy. At any rate, I hope to have something to show for it soon.

p.s. Thanks for all the sweet comments about the Apricot Jacket! I expect you all to go out and make one now. Send me pics.

p.p.s. A big thank-ewe to Thunky for all the programming/proofreading/photographing he does for me. It's a thankless job being the man behind the knitter. Yes indeed.

April 20, 2006

Back at it

I'm back at work after a nice long weekend with the family. I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was in Michigan so you'll just have to conjure up your own images of familial easterly bliss. We shopped, we crafted, we watched movies, we ate lots of yummy food...all the important stuff.

Over the weekend I located the last few things I need to make the Weekender Bag for the sewalong. I finally decided on some coral fabric to coordinate with the bird fabric I want to use. It isn't what I'd originally envisioned (I thought I'd go green), but I think it'll look pretty cool for the piping and the lining.

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Once I got home and looked at the pattern a little closer, I realized that I need to go out and buy yet more stuff (heavy duty sewing machine needle, fabric marker, different pins, a yardstick...). I've never seen a pattern that called for so many materials! Who knew these bag things were so complicated? I see in the instructions that there is even a "false bottom." Geesh. I may have gotten myself in over my head here.

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but it's so cute...

In knitting news: I finished the sleeves for the Apricot Jacket. They are blocking contentedly on the living room floor and should be dry by the time I get home tonight. And yes, I am fully aware that I messed up one of the eyelets on the right sleeve there. You can chalk it up to Mr. Darcy...I was knitting that bit while we watched Pride and Prejudice.

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The next question is...should I seam the sweater or start working on the bag?

April 4, 2006

Ships and Shoes and Sealing Wax

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There are exciting things afoot at Chez Elliphantom including, but not limited to:

-The Indiana Fleece Fair is on Saturday! Plans are to meet up with Wendie and (try) not to spend too much money. It's not Rhinebeck, but it's ours. Anybody else going to be there?

-I joined the Sew? I Knit! bag-along. Yes, making the needle case woke the sleeping seamstress within. Don't worry. I'll be making a knitting bag. Well, technically, you could argue all my bags are knitting bags. I'm sewing the Weekender Travel Bag by Amy Butler. Hugely ambitious, possibly disastrous, but oh so cute!

-I bought some vintage grosgrain ribbon at the thrift store this weekend (see pic above) and want to make something cool with it. Anybody have any ideas? I may possibly make a belt, but (horizontal stripes about the midsection not always being the wisest fashion choice) I'm open to other possibilities.

-Progress continues on the Apricot Jacket. Unfortunately I don't have anything to show since I had to rip out two evenings worth of knitting today. It should be noted that, when one copies down errata, one should copy out ALL of it. Not just some of it. Bah.

But I am very upbeat about it. Yes indeed. Over and out.