Confectious Concoctions

Archive for the ‘Midnight Seamstress’ Category

I have a lot of hobbies. You probably do, too. ArtsKC started Art/Work, which is a “city-wide corporate arts challenge that enables companies to showcase their employees’ talents in the literary, visual, and performing arts.” One of Barkley’s clients, UMB, is very involved with ArtsKC, and my friend James, the Account Supervisor on the UMB account, was very set on recruiting Barkley partners who create outside of work to contribute something. He persuaded me into participating, and so here’s what I made.

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One of the stipulations was that it couldn’t come from an existing pattern, so I drew a pretty simple shape for a clutch on an 11×17 piece of paper, placed on the fold to be symmetric as any other pattern would call for. I got the fabric from Sarah’s (of course). It’s from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern collection, called Park Fountains (in mustard). I loved it at first sight and knew it would make a fabulous clutch pattern. I made yo-yos to embellish the front, referencing this website for instructions. Note, you stitch through both layers after turning the 1/4″. I somehow missed that memo.

I don’t expect it to win anything during the exhibition/competition, but it was still fun to be able to contribute. If I had time and/or started when I originally intended to, I would’ve made another purse.

What do you think?


Here’s a teaser photo of the most recent #ChelseaFitchOriginal that I finished on Sunday. More photos to come! #sewing

I finally finished Juanita’s purse the other night, and so decided to name the style after her.

This lovely lady is about 12″ long, 9″ high, and 6″ deep, with 24″ straps (end-to-end). There is a zippered interior pocket, about 9″ x 6″ with a 7″ zipper, and dual open interior pockets opposite it, perfect for easy access to your cell phone or other odds and ends.

Fabric patterns I used

  • Exterior – Clair Blocks Brown designed by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit/Westminster Fibers
  • Interior lining – Chelsea Lace for Studio E Fabrics

Other notions included a silver, “regular” sized magnetic snap and a 7″ zipper –  regular polyester zipper from Joann’s in Cloister Brown, and dark brown thread.

Here are most of the pictures of the final product – I know you’ve been anxious. For a few more, check out my Flickr photo stream.

I took the bag to work for a test drive (it works just fine) and now have a couple co-workers interested in having a Chelsea Fitch Original made just for them. I’m looking forward to working on them, but I think I need to find a less expensive fabric source. If you’d like one made for you, just drop me a line.

In the meantime, please let me know what you think about my first “for hire” bag in the comments.

Yesterday, Kyle and his little brother (from Big Brothers Big Sisters) made peanut butter swirl brownies – a recipe I found from a blog I read. They were very tasty, though I was thankful that Kyle sent his little brother home with the majority of them, and the rest (except for a little for me) went with Kyle to work today. Today is his birthday (Happy Birthday, Love!).

While the boys baked, I met my friend Jacob who commissioned me to make a purse for his sister’s birthday that’s in a few weeks. I showed him my sketches and we talked about features for the bag (pockets, zippers, clasps, etc.). I also showed him some of the fabrics I loved that I took pictures of last week. We decided on a green cross-hatch background with purple/pink/orange/turquoise paisley blossoms. I’m obsessed with it and am so glad I get to work with it. See?

The bag will also have dark blue accents and handles, and the interior will be pink, likely a simple pattern, like a pinstripe or similar. I’m very excited because I’m designing it from start to finish. Not using any pre-existing patterns, but am arming myself with many free tutorials and things learned from other patterns I’ve used. Plus, I got some inspiration from other designs. So, I don’t think it’s a big surprise that I’m also a little scared that I’ll mess it up somehow. But I think that’s a glorious thing about sewing – most errors are fixable, though always annoying. As long as you don’t cut wrong.

I found this fabric at Urban Arts + Crafts at Briarcliff in North Kansas City/Riverside. The rest will likely come from Sarah’s in Lawrence, and/or Joann’s. Sarah’s just has a much, much larger selection of fabric than Urban Arts offers.

When I was doing my research at Urban Arts, I took the bolts of fabrics that I absolutely loved down from the shelves and laid them on a table and took pictures to show Jacob. I took 25 pictures. I took pictures of my chaotic method, of close-ups of the bolts splayed out on the table, of others I didn’t have time to take down, but wanted his opinion on them. It was fun. But I think I have a problem.

Bolts of beautiful fabric

Le sigh …

I felt bad for leaving a mess, so I purchased a $3 pattern for a coin purse/card holder.

So, this will be my very first “true” Chelsea Fitch Original (as my custom tags say). Though one can argue Juanita’s bag is an original since I took an existing pattern and modified it to fit my vision for her bag.

Speaking of Juanita …

I’m also about 1 step away from finishing it. It’s technically finished (I took it on a test run today), but there are a couple things I might modify or add. I sent her some pictures and questions today, so hopefully it will be 100% done tonight, if she gets back to me.

So I totally promised pics of the baby burp cloths and Pee Pee Teepees I made for our friends’ baby showers. But my camera went defunct and so I had to use Kyle’s, which is now missing.

Wuh wuhhhhhhh….

So here’s a picture of a cute kitteh to make up for it.

Sorry folks! I knew how much you wanted to see them. Who’s having a baby that I can make more for?

Just keeping track per my post about putting off projects and the guilt that accompanies doing such:

  1. Mom’s pillows 7/18/10
  2. Baby gifts (burp cloths for 2 friends)(started cutting fabric for 1 set on 7/18/10 – due ASAP; 2nd set due 8/20)
    • 1st set sent to my friend Karen 8/2, just in time for Baby Graham to be born 8/5; started cutting fabric for set 2 on 8/2 as well. Still need an additional fabric pattern
    • 8/4 I decided I wanted to make Pee Pee Teepees, too, and 5 custom onesies for Baby #2, Henry, so I need materials for that, too. All remaining materials have been purchased. Am doing 6 more teepees for yet another baby gift for a shower on 8/14. Good thing Kyle will probably help with the onseies!
    • Pee Pee Teepees for gifts complete 8/9! Except I overcalculated fabric and now have 12 extras ready to be made. I might sell these on Etsy, or save them for future babies. Don’t know yet.
    • 8/19 burp cloths and onesies complete!
  3. Juanita’s purse due 8/13
    • Fabric cut 8/10 (except for sew-in interfacing).
    • 8/11 interfacing cut and zipper/pocket sewn in. Also sewed on one of my “Chelsea Fitch Original” tags Kyle’s mom gave me for Easter into the lining before assembly. Tonight should go pretty quickly just assembling the fabric, interfacing, snaps, and I might mess with the straps… might.
    • 8/15 total fail getting this done in time, but I’m glad I didn’t. I showed it to Juanita while she was in town, and she gave me some feedback. But at least she likes it!
    • Completed 8/30! Check it out.
  4. Megan’s purse (request made 8/2, with no real due date, but I want to get it to her quickly. Will probably shop for fabric weekend of 8/7 Fabric purchased 8/7 – but need other supplies like interfacing.)
  5. Birthday bag for my friend Jacob’s sister’s birthday – completion date goal 9/18.
    • 8/29 met with Jacob to show him silhouettes and some fabric ideas; next up – fabric shopping!
    • 9/3 purchased exterior fabric from Urban Arts + Crafts
    • 9/4 purchased lining fabric from Sarah’s
    • 9/6 purchased interfacing and notions; majority of work done – fabric cut, lining has pockets inserted; straps made; might be done with this 9/9 -10 – a full week before original goal!
    • 9/15 showed Jacob the bag and he had one change to the closure
    • 9/19 100% complete, including the little matching card holder accessory. Pictures to come. Here’s a teaser.
  6. 9/1 I had two co-workers interested in having me make them bags. Will likely purchase fabric this weekend.
    • 9/3  – Katie’s fabric purchased from Urban Arts + Crafts (I couldn’t resist it); 9/4 – Denise’s fabric purchased from Sarah’s; 9/7 approval to proceed from both! These are going to be so cute.
  7. Business card holders (might as well since I’ve got cute fabric. Just need buttons and some elastic.) I’ll probably sell some of these on Etsy, too, so look for them!
  8. Fix clutch ( pretty low on the priority list)
  9. Pillow mate for us 7/19/10
  10. Skirt
  11. Pumpkin pillow due 9/20ish
    • 9/20 started cutting fabric – I lost the print outs of the shapes (durnit) so I’ll need to reprint them
  12. Christmas projects due Thanksgiving
  13. My own computer bag and possibly a new purse.
  14. Apron (low on priority list)

I have several sewing projects in the hopper right now. It’s kind of disgusting and making me feel more and more guilty as I think about them. In semi-particular order:

  1. Remember my mom’s pillows? Yeah, actually, they’re not done yet. I decided to put a border on them and a zipper. I have everything I need … except the motivation. GOAL: complete by 7/30 so I can take them up to Iowa and give them to her.
  2. I plan on making some burp cloths for a couple pregnant girlfriends. One is about to pop any second, and the other is due in mid-October, but her showers are in the next 6 weeks. I also want to make a few onesies with funny sayings, like “I’m a breast man,” for her. I have the diapers for the burp cloths (well, they’re on their way from, just need ribbon and fabric to customize them. Time will have to be my motivation.
  3. My BF Juanita requested I make a purse for her back in April. She only requested it to be brown, and I hope I picked out the perfect fabric from Sarah’s in Lawrence. I hope to make it reversible, because the fabric I purchased for the lining is really pretty, too, and I think I have everything else I need … except the motivation. She’s going to be in KC in a few weeks, so I hope to have it done by then. Time, again, will have to be the reason why I get off my butt.
  4. The clutch I made last summer needs some refining – it’s too floppy and soft. So I need to take it apart and sew-in the stiffer interfacing I purchased. I just need the … you guessed it … damn motivation!
  5. I made a throw pillow for myself with fabric I bought from 1154 Lill’s KC store closing sale, so I can practice with the border and zipper. I just need to make it’s mate.
  6. I bought some other funky fabric at the same time and hope to make a skirt out of it for summer. I have a pattern already, too. Guess I better get on this one since it’s mid-July already.
  7. I absolutely fell in love with this pumpkin throw pillow from a couple years ago, and I have everything I need, I just need to make it.

    Adorable throw pillow I want to make for fall decoration.

  8. I started a Christmas tree skirt back in 2006. It’s still yet to be finished. Along with embellishing matching stockings and a table runner.

Anyone got any advice on how to get and stay motivated to make time to work on and eventually complete these projects?

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