Monday, 22 September 2014

All about a girl...

Hello there!
Another major event here this summer was my daughter heading off to university. Although she's "only" living about four hours away from us now it is still hard to have my baby girl gone, but I know she will have an absolute blast. At the start of the summer we picked out four projects that I would try & make for her to take with her and I can happily report I managed to finish three of them! She is studying music so I had offered to make her a messenger style bag to carry her sheet music folder and various other bits and bobs that travel with her. I began adding to the various music themed fabrics in my stash & planning with her all the features she wanted this bag to have.
We decided it needed some internal pockets...
Ones to fit her spare strings, tuner, pencils, phone, & purse...
...and a handy metal clip for her keys so she wouldn't have to rummage in the bottom of the bag for them...
We wanted it to fasten securely so we chose smart silver magnetic clips - can you see the circular female parts of them in the photo below? (One is behind the French horn, the other just to the right of the saxophone)...
These were straightforward to actually fit once I had worked out how to ensure they lined up! (They needed to be attached to the bag parts before the bag was constructed.) Although these clips are designed to be invisible from the front of the bag flap we decided to sew these big black treble clef buttons over the top to make more of a feature of them...
Out of the various fabrics I accumulated for this project I used most of one fat quarter for the front of the bag body and a most of a different one for the back...
The patchwork flap used an assortment of fabrics and was based on a block chosen by my daughter from one of my quilting books. I edged it with leftover strips from the bag front fat quarter ...
The bag lining & inside face of the strap were all cut out of a half meter of grey music fabric (but it was a very close call! Three quarters of a meter would have been safer!). I used two mostly white with black print fat quarters for the pockets, and a polyester batting/wadding between all layers to give the bag some structure...
Now lets hope it stands up to university life!
The second project on the list was a little needle book. I really enjoy making these & have made a couple now (see here and here) so it was about time my daughter had her own one. One of my favorite times is when we sit together on the couch, usually partly watching a film or TV program, both busy cross stitching :-) I don't expect she will have a lot of time to stitch at uni but her current WIP and her sewing box have gone with her and I am so happy to have passed this love of stitchy things on to her. (Unfortunately these photos didn't come out so well so please bear with me.) So for her needle book she picked out fabrics from my stash for the little patchwork back...
...chose the bright blue spotty lining fabric & the pretty colored felt for the pages...
...and I gave her one of my wooden sleepy dragon buttons for the front...
She has been a big Harry Potter fan for most of her life (I read the first book to the kids when she was about five I think?) so the cover had to be the yellow and black Hufflepuff house colors. And the embroidered Latin? It's the Hogwart's school motto which translates as "Never tickle a sleeping dragon" (something I have always taken as very good advice ;-))
The last finished project is taken from this book...
My aunt gave it to me a few years ago & it is choc full of beautiful projects which I have been drooling over ever since :-) One of them is called Denim Beauty and is for a purse/ handbag made out of old jeans. Well say no more! My hoarding tendencies need little encouragement so I have been collecting worn out jeans since I first spied this! Because jeans come in all different styles and people in all different sizes there is no real way to know how many pairs of jeans you need for something like this. Also, given the "worn out" nature of them, you end up discarding bits which are the worse for wear and knees which tend to be very distorted, stretched bits of fabric by this stage of their life! I had two pairs of the pale blue and one pair each of the medium & dark blue jeans and ended up with various amounts of leftovers. I didn't use denim for the lining, I used a navy blue decorating weight fabric which was originally bought for making kiddie proof kitchen seat cushions many moons ago!

I had wondered how my sewing machine would like sewing through the layers of denim fabric in this project but actually it was very well behaved! I swapped out my regular needle for a number 100 jeans needle and even at points like attaching the straps ( double thickness of strap plus batting plus bag side plus bag lining) it took it in it's stride. Another small change I made to the pattern was the addition of batting/wadding in between the two layers of the strap. This was just a personal choice, I think it makes the strap comfier across your shoulder. Also my daughter decided she wanted the bag a wee bit bigger than the one in the book so I adjusted that for her too. I used the same polyester batting/wadding between the bag exterior & lining as for the music bag and this is how it turned out... bag back...
...side with pleated top...
... and front with appliqued flap...
I also need to say a BIG THANK YOU to my daughter's lovely new friend & flatmate who took these pictures for me when we discovered I had taken photos without the memory card in the camera before the bag travelled to it's new home - ooops!!!
Handy tip - as most bags patterns say it is better not to wash a fabric bag like this we bought a can of shoe protector spray to spray the exterior with as it's meant to protect against stains & dirt.
Well now my sewing machine is going to get a mini service from hubbie & have a well earned rest for a little while! Thank you for visiting here today, I hope to be back later in the week with some yarny action :-) Until then, I hope you have a lovely week!









12 comments:

  1. gorgeous creations ! Love the messenger bag....might need to get the pattern for that ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Dvorah! Yes no problem, anytime :-) We need to get together when I get back! Have a lovely weekend,
      Helen xx

      Delete
  2. I love all your creations Helen! Your work is beautiful
    Mary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Mary! Need to pop over & see what lovely things you have been working on lately.... Have a lovely weekend,
      Helen x

      Delete
  3. I know your baby girl will have lots of great times at university, Helen, but you can't help missing them when they're away (spoken from experience!) You know she will be thinking of you every time she uses her bags or needle book....they are all fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your lovely comment Rhona! This time round seems harder because she is my last one, but I'm sure we will get used to the new regime in time... Have a lovely weekend,
      Helen

      Delete
  4. WOW! Absolutely amazing projects Helen. I'm so impressed!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Laura! Need to pop over & see what you've been up to recently... have a lovely weekend,
      Helen x

      Delete
  5. Thanks again for making these amazing gifts mum!!! i love them all and love showing them off to people :) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome sweetie :) Glad they're coming in handy xoxoxoxox

      Delete
  6. Wow! I love the music bag Helen! That is awesome! All lovely beautiful gifts. xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Steph! Even though I don't do it that much I do enjoy making bags :-) xox

      Delete

Thank you for your message - I love hearing your comments & ideas!