Posts Tagged ‘pattern’

Jasons Got A Brand New Bag

June 18, 2010

Recently my friend, and talented Graphic Designer, Jason enlisted my help stitching together a pattern he had come up with for a laptop back. He’s pretty creative and while he doesn’t sew that much, this was the fifth evolution of the laptop bag he’s created since headed off to college.

He’s just graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology by the way and is leaving New York for his new job and exciting new life in San Francisco. Yay for Jason!

Every time he constructs the bag he incorporates lessons learned from his last creation. I think this fifth round bag will last him a while. To see the history of bag designs check out his blog here.

Jasons Got a Brand New Bag

Jasons Got a Brand New Bag

The bag has two front pockets with a handy little flap over it to keep things from falling out. Inside there are two compartments for laptop and books. On the side there is a pocket for pens. One major change to this bag was running the loops and D-rings for the strap through the interior of the bottom of the bag. That adds a lot of support and I think he’ll be able to stuff this bag and not worry about weight.

I made a minor change in the pattern to give him some sharp clean corners and sturdy pockets, but for someone that doesn’t sew he came to me with a very well thought out plan.

Jason is also a talented screen printer and plans to embellish the bag with an original design. I’ll let you all know when he does.

Good luck in San Francisco Jason! And thanks for including me in on the project!

Learning to Knit

March 26, 2010

Yesterday I arrived far to early to an eye doctor appointment, and it just so happened to be next door to a JoAnn Fabric’s craft store. I ended up picking up a pair of knitting needles and a little $2 booklet on knitting for beginners.

I was lucky enough to have a grandmother and a mother that taught me to crochet when I was little and I managed to get about half way through an afghan that ended up a garbage bag full of squares in the closet. I need much more instant gratification than that.

Despite my failure to keep up with crochet, I had always wanted to learn to knit. I think I like that the needles click, and that the work always seemed very light and flexible when it was done. I know crochet can be too, but mine never was.

Since yesterday I have made about 6 very crooked little bookmarks. They’re ugly and the stitches are terrible but I have discovered what I have always wanted to know….how on earth fabric is created by banging two sticks together.

Now that I know it I am not so sure what to do with it. I looked up beginner projects and came up with a list of pot holders, dish rags and scarves. None of which am I willing to put in massive effort for.

I think my foray into knitting will end here. I honestly cannot think of anything fun that needs to be knitted by a beginner for summer. Can you?

In the mean time, here is something knitted that I cannot make but Vegangurl can.

Fruit Cozy Set by Vegangurl

Fruit Cozy Set by Vegangurl

I don’t know why you would need these but I like that the fruit is dressed up. I guess it would keep an apple clean, but isn’t that what the banana peel is for? Is a banana not already cozy? Someday, I could knit something this interesting.

Beat this Deal

January 18, 2010

I’ve gotten very much over the past few weeks into sewing clothes. It’s not something I have ever really done before but in the weeks since new years I have sewn two skirts, two dresses and a pair of pants. I’m currently in the middle of making aprons for my mom and I. I will be posting those soon!

I am a firm believer that if you hand make your clothes it should cost less than buying them ready made. Unfortunately this is not usually the case! I find that patterns are quite expensive and once you add in the price of fabric and notions you’re well over retail clothing stores. The best bet is to never…ever…ever ever…pay full price for a pattern. If you’re lucky you get a great deal on beautiful fabric as well and then you have not only something you’re proud to say you made yourself but also you’ve saved money by DIY economics.

I have scoured the internet for free patterns and for some reason I find a lot of of them are in languages other than English. As much as I am getting a hold of making clothes, I still think the wording of an English pattern is even somewhat difficult to translate. I won’t be attempting to Babel fish a pattern anytime soon.

For those of you into fashion design and sewing, I have to say one of my favorite new blogs is the Selfish Seamstress. Not only is she a talented seamstress and a bit of a fashion designer herself, She is a very clever writer and a joy to read. I have downloaded all of her patterns and have already made her “Coffee Date Dress” twice. She has generously offered her pattern for download at BurdaStyle as well as on her download’s page on her blog.

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

Coffee Date Dress by Selfish Seamstress

BurdaStyle is kind enough to offer a few patterns for free on their website which I have downloaded now just in case they decide to take them away from us cheap sewers.

Free patterns are hard to come by, and many require adjustments to your size or a translator. All of which add a fair bit of work to an already involved undertaking.

Which is why I am pointing out the INCREDIBLE discovery I had when I happened into JoAnn Fabrics today. All simplicity patterns were only 99 cents! I picked up around 20 patterns which should keep me happy for a good long while and significantly beef up my wardrobe.

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Misses Dress with Jacket-Cynthia Rowley Collection

Simplicity has a lot of my favorite patterns and at a discount from $16 to $0.99 this really can’t be beat. This Cynthia Rowley dress and jacket will be one of my first to sew for sure. If you have tomorrow’s holiday off, I suggest you go shopping!

Simplicity also features the Project Runway Pattern Collection. These patterns are especially great because they allow you to mix and match trims, hems, tops and bottoms to make a lot of really beautiful outfits from just one pattern kit.

And so, now that I have pitched JoAnn for their obviously wonderful sale. I’ll get back to sewing so I have something to show all of you.

If you have any thoughts on great ways to make sewing fashions a more affordable treat please share!

And for those of you that really like free things, Check this out!

The Learning Process

January 12, 2010

2nd try on the 1st try

My brother Aaron gave me a gift certificate to the craft store for Christmas and I spent it on fabric and patterns. I really want to take the time to learn all about following a pattern and making clothes.

This skirt is one of my first goes and while I do like it…there are a few lessons from it!

My zippers need some help.

My hem is too obvious. There has to be a better way!

The leather bit was not a part of the pattern and it was a bit ambitious for me to make things up before I had the hang of things. This is actually the second try on that. The first leather band was a bit tight so I managed to make a second with the scraps. Leather…as I should have guessed…is also not all that easy to sew with. This one fits better, and I am happy with the buttons but tearing the band off and replacing it with a slightly larger one somewhat messed up my pleats in the front. They’re not unbearable but they’re not as sharp and neat as I would like.

All and all, I have to say for a first try it’s not bad. Its wearable and I do like the look of it. There is another skirt I’ll post soon and hopefully I can really get into making clothes! I think my next project will be an off white or cream button down to go with this 🙂

Don’t forget! Win a Prize Here!

Keepsake Contest!

January 5, 2010

I am taking a break from my post-christmas-present-posts to solicit your help on a project that has stumped me.

It has been nearly a year since my Grandpa died. He was a really wonderful person and greatly missed by all of us. My aunt salvaged some of his clothing to make a beautiful quilt for my grandmother. It’s a beautiful piece that has a lot of meaning and comfort for her.

When my aunt came to visit at Thanksgiving she brought some of my grandpa’s old shirts and thought I could make something out of them. I’ve been thinking on it long and hard and can’t decide what keepsake to sew out of these shirts!

Help me Help youThey are both cotton, button down, short sleeve shirts size XL.

So here’s the deal! Post your keepsake sewing ideas involving one or both of my grandpa’s shirts in the comments of this post. I’ll give it about two weeks before making a selection!

The winning idea-supplier will get to select any item from the Megnificent Made Etsy store as their prize!

That includes camera wristlets…

Camera wristlet by Megnificent Made

Pink Floral Camera Wristlet by Megnificent Made

Custom Coloring Books…

Vespa In Paris Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Vespa In Paris Custom Coloring Book by Megnificent Made

Or writing and drawing fabric notebooks!

Sketches in Blue Fabric Book by Megnificent Made

Sketches in Blue Fabric Book by Megnificent Made

So start exercising your creative brains and send some keepsake ideas this way! Any questions feel free to ask. I’ll give about two weeks (more if necessary) to see some posting!

Note: Subscribe to my RSS feed on the right to help you follow my blog and find out the winner!

Buttercup Purses

January 2, 2010

Here is another post-Christmas-post! For my brother’s girlfriends I made purses. These lovely little bags were created with a free pattern from Made by Rae. This bag, called the butter cup bag, has a little pocket inside and a magnetic closure. It was pretty easy to make and I really love the result!

Buttercup PurseThis lovely pink and grey purse was for Ashley. My brother told me she loves pink and I found out later the grey matches an outfit she has 🙂

Buttercup Purse

Buttercup PurseJen has mentioned a few times how much she loves black and white accented with red! The inside has a very subtle red stripe and I really loved the hounds tooth for a winter purse.

Buttercup Purse

The butter cup pattern was really easy and It taught me how to install those great little magnetic snaps as well as creating nice neat pleats. I recommend you download and give it a try! It only takes a quarter lining and a quarter fabric.

Tie Dress

December 8, 2009

I’ve been making a lot of “I’ll post soon” statements around here and I intend on catching up on those.

Recently I attended the wedding of my best friend Teale and my new best frenemie, Greg at a local art gallery. This was one of the many things that had kept me so busy lately.

I had promised Teale to wear something fabulous to her wedding and about seven months ago I decided to make my own dress for the wedding. I made this decision having never sewn anything successful in my life but it is with this dress that I bought myself a sewing machine and taught myself to sew.

Everything I have made since this project has gone quite well, but this one was a tough one for a starter! I’d like to do it again knowing everything I know now. I do like the dress, but if you were to look inside you’d say “What on earth is going on here??”

Anyway. Here it is…

I have to apologize. It is a small photo and a post-wedding photo. Alas, it is the only one I have because I took the wedding photos so I’m not in any. This was taken by my aunt to was at my house when I arrived home.

The dress is made entirely of vintage neck ties I collected from the vintage stores all over Sydney. I originally wanted black and white only but It only took me two shops to discover that would be nearly impossible on a reasonable budget so I caved on gray. I accented it with the only semi-full price (from paddy’s market) neck tie in fuscha that matched my hair and pinned at the knot to the top of my strapless dress making it a halter dress. The pink tie can also tie around the waist if I like.

The real work was in combining all of the ties. Each tie had to be torn up the back seam, stuffing removed, and sewn the neighboring tie. Once they were all together I sewed each tie up it’s back seam again. When all of ties were together side to side I treated it like a piece of fabric and used a strapless dress pattern on it making sure I cut the fabric to keep the ties in line. Beneath the dress is heaps of black toole.

I used my new found sewing skills 7 months later when I arrived here in Rochester 3 days before the wedding to correct all of my inexperience and it ended up fitting quite nicely. The shoes were a lucky find last minute at target! Black white and gray satin striped shoes.

I wish I had a better photo. If I find someone else has one I’ll post that too.

Snip Snip Snip

October 13, 2009

I spent saturday making alterations to the pattern for the camera bag. Its a bit bigger and can accommodate a larger point and shoot as well as a few other small evening out extras. These 5 are my practice bags from the weekend.

Testing 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Sunday I took off from all the pinning and cutting, but yesterday was spent at the craft store and collecting packing materials. By the evening I was cutting all of the fabric I bought to make bags and I’ve got enough pieces cut to make 37 purses.

Snip Snip Snip

My fabrics are all sequined, sparkling and silky 🙂 I tried to target the evening look but there are a few that will be more casual. They’re still plenty more desirable that the average camera bag!

My goals for the week are to sew together all these bags. I’m not sure if that’s too ambitious or not, but I’d like to be uploading to my store by the end of the week. The fabric allows for four of each design, at the least I’d like to have 2 of each ready to sell.

As well as sewing, I want to get my shipping and packaging materials together. I’ve gathered all of the padded envelopes I need but will be making them my own this week with some more crafyness. My labels are another minor project for the week and I hope I’ve got myself organized enough to touch on all of these!

I’ll keep you posted on all of these balls in the air!