Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bags by the Dozen

I've been in the mood to make bags, purses and totes lately. One great inspiration is that Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties are banning plastic shopping bags starting next year, and are charging for using paper bags. Whether or not you or I agree with the ban doesn't matter as much as what to do about it.

I'm going to start by making some more market bags like some of the ones I did last year.

I was planning on putting together a list of great bags to make, but someone beat me to it over at This is a great list of bags. Go check it out, really! Very inspiring.

Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order. There is a lack of pictures on my part, because I want to spend all afternoon sewing, not downloading and re-posting photos.

Quilting for Peace has a great little shopping bag tutorial. I think the shorter handles would make them easier to fill. Sure, the longer handles can go over your shoulder, but I've found that the grocery store clerks have trouble holding them open.

Skip to my Lou's boxy zippered bag is a classic.

For adorable little zippered felt purses, bluegirlxo is quite inspiring.

I love the recycled cargo pants  messenger bag over at noddlehead.

Craft Nectar links to an ingenious grab bag design. Definitely want to try these.

I've been looking for a good yoga mat bag, something simple to make and easy to use. Pickles has a great crocheted bag that looks perfect.

BurdaStyle has a nice looking purse that looks like it would be fun to make.

There's a great beach bag tutorial over at obsessive crafting disorder (what a cute name!) I love the mesh panel idea.

Here is a cute crocheted tote from Classic Elite Yarns.

Lastly, here are three shopping bags to inspire you:

The Jane Market Bag

A simple grocery bag pattern

And a cute crocheted bag.


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Continuing with my love of all things autumn, I started sewing some fabric pumpkins. I haven't decided how I'm going to sew the leaf yet, but I'll probably add a crocheted stem, and maybe some tendrils. I have ideas on how to improve the shape, and I'm looking forward to making more of these.

While I was searching for pumpkin leaf designs, I ran across this lovely cake at Hurry Up, Cakes. Of course, now I want to bake some cakes =) Wouldn't this be perfect for a Halloween party?

And, speaking of Halloween, here is an adorable crochet pattern costume from Darncat Crochet.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Apple Cookies

Last night we had some friends over, and I made these glazed apple cookies. I was looking for something that really tastes like fall, and these fit perfectly.

I used granny smith apples, and grated rather than chopped. Next time I'll chop, since the little ribbons of apple were I think less pleasant than chunks would be. Nobody complained, though, and the plate was empty in no time.

I also used butter instead of shortening, cut the sugar down to a heaping cup, and left out the nuts and raisins. I used my standard pumpkin spice blend- cut down the cloves a little and added a pinch of allspice. I also increased the vanilla in the icing to give them extra flavor. A hint of maple instead might be nice.

Next time I will definitely double the recipe.

They were a little on the sticky side, so I might also increase the dry ingredients if it looks too wet before baking.

I'm looking forward to fall with it's crisp air, mulled cider, and pumpkins. I already saw some pumpkins in the store!

-- iPhone post

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Red Wedding Corset

This weekend two of our friends got married, and I had the honor of making the bride's gown. It was a deep red satin corset with a sweetheart neckline and black beaded lace applique, and a black satin pencil skirt with ruffle in the back. I took a couple pictures of the corset in the works, but not too many.

I did something slightly new for the corset binding. Normally I would do either a contrasting or matching binding on the bottom or on both sides, but in this case I wanted both sides to be hidden. I did a standard seam on the top, and used seam binding at the bottom.

After all the edges were made even and the bones were bound, I lined up the seam binding with the lower edge, and sewed right down the middle, leaning slightly towards the edge.
Then I folded the binding in half and wrapped it around to the inside, pulling the fashion fabric about 1/8 inch over and hand sewed the binding in to make a clean edge. I definitely would do this again, especially for a corset with decoration on it. I discovered that Casper likes some of the music I play while sewing. Several times he stood close to the speakers like this and listened intently for awhile before curling up right in front of them. Very cute =)
Here's the initial placement of the lace, and mirroring it onto the other side.

...and, the finished product. I don't have too many pictures of the skirt, but the corset was really the main piece anyway.

I had my hair in an up-do with curls in the back, and a big red rose on the side. I also have a new lens (50mm prime) for my camera that I've been playing around with. Mainly I've been having fun with the shallow depth of field that comes with a 1.8 f-stop, but I haven't gotten too much practice with it yet.

I took a couple photos of our foster kitties with the new lens, and this is one of my favorites of that batch. His name is My Boyfriend.