Friday, September 5, 2008

Garden Tote: Lotta Jansdotter Pattern

I wish I could find a sew-along group for Lotta Jansdotter patterns. I love them. I have honestly enjoyed the finished product of every project I've tried from her book, Simple Sewing.

This project was the garden tote, I did make a few modifications to suit my needs. This is a great bag -- I'm already using mine on a daily basis -- to use outside the garden. It's perfect as a diaper bag because of all the outside pockets. Give it a try! Be warned, it's a big bag.

For materials I used duck cloth, a home dec fabric, and a little lightweight canvas (lining). I also used some twill tape, but It's aesthetic more than anything.

The pattern is easy to follow. The biggest change I made was that I added interior pockets (I always do) and I modified one of the outer, pleated pockets. The pattern calls for three pockets on each side. On one side I opted for two larger pockets, rather than three. I'm pleased with the effect (visually), but I'm very happy with the functionality.

I used the outer pockets to carry everything from water bottles to sippy cups to sunscreen. I love them because if something leaks it's not going to wreck everything inside the bag. Fabulous! I made this tote from under $3. All the fabrics were remnants, and all of pieces were scraps from when I had used the remnants on previous projects. All in all, very cheap with big impact.

I did not use duck cloth in the base piece. And I should have used it for at least one of the layers. It would give the tote better body.

PS -- Tote is featured on my flickr page:

Pleated Sheers

I found occasion to use my serger, again. I'm trying to use it as much as possible because I've heard that if you use it alot in the first month you'll teach yourself to always think of how you can use it on projects that don't call for overlock but that could be improved with overlock.

My dining room really needed something to bring down its scale. I know that sounds weird... but it's a tall room with an enormous table and an enormous hutch in it. Every time I went in there I felt like the place echoed. Now, that being said, it's not a huge room, really. It was just tall and narrow. So, thought fabric might help.

I zipped these up (I have more to make when JoAnn's delivers my special order of 15 more yards) very quickly. It's a gauzy linen with black embroidery embellishment from the Tommy Bahama line (got it for 40 percent off with coupon). I used overlock to finish the top and bottom ends of each swath of fabric. Then I used blind hem to finish the sides. Then I used curtain pleater tape and drapery hooks to create the pinch pleats. This was a pretty simple process and very quick. I used blind hem, again, to finish up the bottom hem.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

1st Overlock Project: Pajama Bottoms

I bought the Bernina. It is wonderful. I've only taken one mastery class (learning to make pleated drapes of all things) so I only know how to do the overlock stitch. I don't even know how to thread my own machine, yet. But the ladies down at the dealer are wonderful.

All I've made are these silly little PJ bottoms. It only took about two minutes. The serger is so fast. This is going to be fun getting to know this machine. I appreciate that these pants are not too impressive. But you should see the drapes I'm working on.

PHOTO NOTE: My son was not a willing model.