Sunday, August 20, 2017

Call for Testers

Hello friends, followers and lurkers too, lol! I have designed an Organizer Pouch and created a pattern for making it and now I would like to have this pattern tested by a few testers.

The pattern is written for a confident beginner. Someone who has sewn at least a little, but is not brand new to a sewing machine. You need to know how to use your machine and the presser feet needed. I wrote it with beginners in mind, but not for someone who has never sewn anything by machine.

You will be sewing 5 zippers, 4 will be the same kind of zipper installation and one will be installed differently than the rest.

I would like a mix of beginner, and intermediate sewers/sewists.

I have a form that I would like you to fill out if you are interested in testing for me. I will also have you fill out a survey after completing the sewing. (For those chosen to be testers). If I do not choose you to test this time, I will keep your name on my list and if I design another pattern to be tested, then I might call on you at a later date to see if you are interested in testing then, provided I write another pattern that is, lol!

The testing time once you receive the pdf pattern will be one week to have the pouch completed and photos emailed to me. I hope to get the pattern out to those testers I choose by the end of the week, so that will give you until approx. the first week in September, depending on when I mail the pdf pattern out. If you are not able to complete the pouch in the allotted time, or are too busy right now, but want to be considered for any future testing opportunities, then please let me know this in your comment or email to me. The only compensation that you will receive is the pdf pattern itself. (Not to be shared with others please!)

I would like to have a few people who have blogs, or belong to Facebook groups that can post the finished pouch with links back to my Craftsy store and my blog. After all that is the only way for people to discover my pattern by having others write about it. If you do not have a blog or belong to other social media, I will still consider you as a tester, but I do want mostly people who can promote my pattern.

I will get back to you within a week or so. If you are a no-reply please include your email in the comment, otherwise you won't hear back from me because I do not have your email if you are a no-reply. Or you can contact me by email or use the contact form on the right side of my blog. Thanks for your interest.

Here is the Organizer Pouch I want tested:
Call for testing closed! Thanks for the response. I will be choosing a few testers soon.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Bodacious Bowler

I recently tested this bag by ChrisW Designs. It is a bowler style bag that comes in 3 sizes. While they are small-medium-large, the large is more of an adult medium size and the smaller ones are perfect for young children or to use as a cosmetic or toiletry bag. Christine had a lot of testers testing this bag and we each made different sizes, so check out the testers versions here. Christine had digitized a cute drawing from when her daughter was young, which can be embroidered on the front pocket if you have an embroidery machine, and several testers did just that. I do not have an embroidery machine, so I made my bag in all batiks, inside and out. {If interested in purchasing this bag, please scroll to the bottom of this post.}

This is the large size bag.

The large size only has the phone pocket at the back top.

Even using a lint roller before taking these photos, the lint showed on my bag, :0(

The front pocket has a magnetic snap closure. One of the testers sewed a dividing line down the center to give her 2 pockets, so she didn't use a snap, which is another option.

The cell phone pocket holds my keys, since I don't have a cell phone. I am probably the only person not to have a cell phone, lol!

To give you an idea of space, I could fit my large wallet, sunglasses case and reading glasses case inside and there is plenty of room to spare.

I like to divide my slips pockets with a pen pocket in the center,

Here you can how roomy is is with nothing (except for the pen) inside the bag. The bag opens up nice and wide too.

There is a zippered pocket inside too across from the slip pocket. That makes 6 pockets on my bag (the large front pocket, the divided slip pocket, including the pen pocket, the zippered pocket and the cell phone pocket), but you can divide your pockets or not as you choose, yielding a different number of pockets.

You can add purse feet to the bottom if you like also. The black nylon strips were say we say a "design opportunity" because I cut the base of the bag a bit too short and had to piece the fabric. So I decided to cover up the seam line with some nylon strapping and I figure that these will act as purse feet on this bag, lol! I doubt anyone would have looked at the bottom of the bag closely anyhow.
I am selling this Bodacious Bowler for $75.00 + $15.00 shipping (USA shipping, elsewhere will cost more). If interested in purchasing please email me.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Custom Made Pencil/School Supply Pouch

I have been making and finishing several things, but haven't had the time to post what I have made lately, so I will be posting a few items each week as I have the time.

Last week a quilting friend of mine emailed me asking if I could make her 13 year old granddaughter a pencil pouch for school. She wanted an 8.5" x 11" pouch with zippered pockets and a main zippered compartment. She didn't need grommets because it would go into her backpack and not her notebook. We all met to talk about the size and needs, and colors desired. I always ask for 3 color choices in case I don't have enough of one fabric and because I do like to accent with a 2nd or 3rd color too. Pink was the main color choice, with turquoise and violet as the other two choices. No cutesy pie novelty fabrics (she is nearly 14 years old), no worries because I don't have many novelty fabrics anyhow.

I thought a few days about how I would go about making this pouch and sewing in the zippers needed. I sketched out ideas and visualized in my head not only the final look, but how it would work with the sewing part too. With testing other people's bag patterns and making my own changes on some, and even creating a few of my own designs, I knew basically what I wanted to do, but of course in the actual making of something is when you see what works or not. I decided to sew a smaller version first to decide if I needed to make changes. I am so glad I did sew the smaller one first because I went about installing the zippers differently on the final version than on the test version. The small test version came out looking fine, but I didn't like the way I sewed the zippers in place with strips of other fabrics in between each zipper. It looked great, but I didn't like the sewing of it that way. I even changed the final large version a bit from what we had talked about originally, but I think that was a change for the better. I added a smaller zipper pocket inside the main compartment, making 5 zippers total instead of the original 4 pockets. I did this for 2 reasons, first if she is carrying money I thought it would be safer to use the inside zippered pocket, rather than the small outside pocket and second it made turning the bag right-sides-out through the zippered pocket so much easier! I also added a removable wrist strap, making it easier to carry if she needs to carry this separately instead of inside her backpack, but the strap can easily be removed if not needed.

I took this for show and tell at our quilt group on Thursday, and also gave it to my friend there. Her granddaughter started school this past Monday, so she had been without something for a few days. After my friend saw it, she told me her granddaughter loves Paris stuff, so the fabric I chose was certainly the right choice! Then later she asked for me to make another one for her younger granddaughter, using the same Paris fabric. So I will be working on making it this weekend. I hope her granddaughters love it and find it useful too! I plan on taking photos of the process and writing up a pattern for this too.

One side has a large zippered pocket. This French motif print had the colors she had requested, although the violet color wasn't as pronounced and I think ended up in the seams!

This side has a large zippered pocket and a smaller one centered below it. 

I made 5 beaded zipper pulls with metal charms, using 3 of the heart charms and a flower charm and a leaf charm on the other two zippers.

This is the main compartment with a zippered pocket.

My label has my blog name on one side and my name on the other side.

I wanted some photos on our teak bench, so I could prop them up. The photos in the rocks are laying flat, but I guess you can't tell the difference much, lol! I am pretty proud of how this turned out, so I went a bit overboard on photos. This might work for other supplies too like knitting, quilting or stuff to have on hand when taking a car or plane trip? Might need to make one for myself to test out how I would use it.

This is a small triple zipper pouch I made to test how making a larger pouch would work. I sewed this differently than the larger pouch. I was glad I made this first, because I am much more pleased with how I made the larger pouch. While they might look similar, the larger one is sewn differently.

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Fish Extender

Fish Extender? Huh, what is that you might wonder? I thought the same thing when a friend of mine asked me if I would make her one rather than her buying one from Etsy. The first thing I did was to search online for fish extenders so I knew what she was wanting me to make, lol. It's all apart of the Disney Cruise experience, where you hang a pocket (or multiple pockets) outside your room door on a Fish Hook, hence the fish extender name as it extends down from the fish hook. Deb wanted 2 pockets on hers, since she had one roommate. The fish extenders are Disney themed of course being on a Disney cruise. The pockets are for placing gifts inside or messages. Deb is going on the cruise with several family members, although they will all have their own rooms with their spouses or other family sharing rooms.

Since I had no intention of making these to sell for the masses, I found a few images online and enlarged them for the appliques that I used. I sketched out a basic idea of how I wanted it to look and what I would need to sew, although I had to do some designing on the go as I ran into some things that weren't going to work. I made the pockets large because I wasn't sure what might be placed inside of them. Deb's roommate is her step mom and I made her name with Velcro on the back so that when Deb uses this fish extender at home she can replace the second name with the other applique that I made to go in place of a name. If Deb cruises again and has a different roommate, she can Velcro a name to go in that place.

I haven't mailed this to her yet because I am going to take it to my quilt group for show and tell on Thursday first. The cruise isn't until October. Deb is a childhood friend that I have known since I was about 10 years old.

Disney themed fish extender.

I painted over a texture for the background and then quilted bubbles on this part of the piece. I  painted the wording here because it was too small to make it into applique. I enlarged a Disney font for the words. I also decided to place the knots in the red hanging strap on the back, but I did that after I took this photo.

Deb wanted her name above her pocket and she wanted Mickey Mouse on the pocket.

So what better Mickey Mouse to use than Sailor Mickey, since this is for a cruise.

This I made with a Velcro on the back to replace the name above the second pocket when Deb has it hanging at home or is cruising with someone else, then she can replace this with another name and Velcro it in place.

She wanted Pluto on the second pocket. Good choice, since Pluto is Mickey's best pal and his dog. Deb loves dogs too.

Deb's stepmom is June and this is the name that can be removed since it has Velcro on the back.

Here is the name above the pocket.

The backing fabric, binding and the lining of the pockets are all from this fabric line designed by Debbie Mumm. I thought this was a good choice to use pirate themed fabrics.

Cute Debbie Mumm designed pirate fabric.

The whole fish extender.

I added this notepad holder with a notepad for writing notes to rip off and place into other pockets and for leaving a message on the notepad for someone to read as they walk by. I had seen another cute idea online that someone used a dinglehopper (aka a fork) to use as a message holder, so you would place the note into the tines of the fork. The crew can also write a message if they need to as well.

Not bad for a first attempt at making a fish extender. Bon Voyage Debbie! Have a great cruise my friend.
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Two Glenda Clutches

I made one Glenda Clutch last month in green and another one this month in turquoise. This is a pdf pattern by Swoon Patterns. I love having a large flap on a bag to get creative with decorative machine stitches or applique or both. I machine stitched decorative stitches on both of these flaps and I am really pleased with how they turned out.

I learned some things making the 1st Glenda. One is I will never use fusible Peltex again! (Pellon makes this heavy weight interfacing) Argh! That was hard to deal with on the body of the bag and it tends to make the fabric look more wrinkled too. I had the double-sided fusible Peltex on hand, so I used it, but using the sew-in non-fusible Peltex is much easier to work with and it's not as stiff. Not only that the non-fusible is cheaper too, since it doesn't have the glue on it. I didn't like the body of the bag being so stiff anyway, so with the 2nd Glenda, I used a foam stabilizer (Soft and Stable byAnnie, In R Form by Bosal or Flex Foam by Pellon are a few brands), although I did use Peltex on the flap only.

I made some other changes that I will describe as you view each photo.

I stitched decorative stitches on the flap using different thread colors and some variegated threads too.

As you can see the lining on the flap looks wrinkled from using the fusible Peltex.

Inside is a divided zipper pocket that is stiff from using the Peltex. Since this bag is a medium size, I really didn't quite get the reason to divide such a small space inside. In the 2nd Glenda I did not add this divider pocket. I like it so much better, for myself anyway, not to have a divided pocket.

On the Swoon Facebook Group, I saw that someone had added some credit card pockets in her Glenda and I liked that idea, so I added some credit card pockets behind the divided pocket. I should have added a cash pocket behind the credit card pockets, and I did do that on the 2nd Glenda.

The back of Glenda. I used a green fabric that went from a light to a darker green, so while I didn't notice the green difference while working on it, I can see the green is darker on the right side of the bag. This is the way the fabric was dyed.

Glenda Clutch #2 I made with a turquoise hand dyed fabric that I dyed myself.

Machine decorative stitches, plus French knots done by hand and some added buttons too.

Instead of the divider pocket inside this bag, I sewed strap tabs where I would have sewn the sides of the divider pocket. Again someone on the Facebook group did this I thought it was a great idea! I used the foam stabilizer for the body of the bag and I wanted the sides of the bag to have more than the Shape Flex interfacing, so I added fusible fleece to the sides to give it more body. I didn't like how the green one looked on the sides with just interfacing and the stiff Peltex on the body. I didn't even take a picture of the green Glenda sides, lol!

Pretty lining fabric.

While I cannot fit a wallet in this bag if I carry my both my sunglasses and reading glasses, so I added credit card and cash pockets in place of a wallet. No dividing pocket here.

I added a slip pocket with a pen pocket on one side of the bag.

I dyed this turquoise fabric.

One thing when I was figuring out the cash and credit card pockets, I forgot that the bottom curves and when it all got together the bottom credit card pockets are now curving into the bottom of the bag! So my bottom card pockets are sitting on the bag bottom and the cards fit, but not how they should on those 2 bottom pockets. I didn't think this through and tried to figure it out myself. I have since found out that someone did a video tutorial on how to add credit card pockets to the Glenda. So I must make a 3rd Glenda and improve on all my mistakes. I also added a small zippered pocket.

All in all I love this bag. I love the size and the shape of it and that I can get artsy with the flap. It can become a clutch of you remove the shoulder strap, but I would never carry a clutch, especially a large clutch like this under my arm or even with a wrist strap it would be too large. But as a shoulder bag it is great!
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