Confectious Concoctions

Posts Tagged ‘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.

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)

My mom bought her first house by herself last fall, and for her housewarming gift, I told her I’d replace her hideously floral valances in her kitchen with custom cafe curtains and matching valances, with a little valance of sorts for the little window above her sink. I got my inspiration for them after these adorable curtains I found from perusing Better Homes & Gardens, and the fabric came from Sarah’s Fabrics in Lawrence, KS, which is my new favorite store (I actually started to tear up the first time I went there from just being in the same room of hundreds of bolts of gorgeous fabrics – batiks, shirtings, flannels, cottons – it was a bit overwhelming, but in a good way). It was there that I found the perfect fabrics to use – my mom was very specific in the colors she wanted – and I set to work. And it only really took me until mid-January to finish them (four months after making my offer, 3 months after the fabric purchase) making me a perfect example of being an awful daughter. And you can see before and after shots here among other various craft projects. And my mom ended up loving them, which is great! Only, I hadn’t really finished. Plus, she wants matching throw pillows for the adjoining living room.

Back to Sarah’s for more fabric, since I didn’t have enough for pillows, too. Darn. My life is so hard…

That valance has turned out to be a pain because I hadn’t ever really done mitered corners on all four sides. The corners on the curtains were easy because I only had to do one, and the instructions were very much different than doing mitered corners on a normal quilt binding. So I ended up trimming the border fabric to the size of the valance fabric and following the original instructions.

Here is the finished product (my mom’s window is smaller, but this gives you an idea of what it’s sort of supposed to look like.

Mom's Window Valance

But, I did venture onto the interwebs for tips and visual instruction and happened to come across this great video on mitered corners for a quilt binding. Not only does it make me want to quilt, it also makes me want a “minute miter” tool. I think it’s one of the most helpful videos on the subject.

And in case you wanted to see the pillows, too, here they are.

Mom's Throw Pillows

Let me know what you think and if you have any tips on mitered corners in the comments below.

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