Sewing for Me: Pink Chalk Studio Mail Sack

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Usually I sew for others. That brings me joy, and I love that. But the sewing projects that I plan for myself get set aside. This month, I finally finished one of those projects that I had been planning to do for years.

I wanted to make myself a Pink Chalk Studio Mail Sack. I have sewn this pattern several times as a gift and it goes together quickly and easily. The internal zippered pocket is so slick. It looks professional but takes very little effort to assemble. I love that!

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I should have shortened the strap for this one. The bag is a bit longer than I usually like, but I don’t think it will bother me very much. Usually I have to sling my bag over several layers of shirt/sweater/winter coat/scarf, so the long strap leaves room for all of those layers.

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Working on this project finally gave me the courage to cut into some of that lovely Melody Miller typewriter fabric that I had been saving. I love that print, but I’ve been hoarding it instead of using it. Now that I have made something out of it, I can appreciate its beauty through everyday use, and not let it languish in a corner of my sewing room!

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Shiny Things

I’m attracted to metallic zippers. They are more difficult to sew with and they scare me a little, but I love the way they look. The thing that bothers me is that you cannot enclose a metallic zipper’s ends into a seam the way that you can with a plain old plastic zipper, which means that I can’t use some of my favorite finishing techniques the same way I usually do.

I used this Boxy Bag Tutorial to make some metallic zippered bags. IMG_1353

These sew up very quickly. Although I am not a fan of exposed inner seams, this tutorial covers them up nicely with a tight zigzag stitch. If everything is cleaned up and trimmed at the end, they still look professional.

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I used some of my goofy glasses novelty print for the outside and some Moda punctuation print for the lining of each bag.

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I adjusted the tutorial sizes as instructed for a 9 inch zipper and a 14 inch zipper.

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The next time I make these boxy pouches, I will use another layer of interfacing for the larger bags. They get all floppy if they don’t have extra layers of structure inside. I used fusible fleece to interface both of these bags. The small bag looks great, but the 14″ zipper bag doesn’t have the sturdiness it needs to stand up to regular use.

Things I’ve Made for People I Like

It has been months since I last posted. Life got in the way for a little while. But I miss writing about what I have sewn, so it’s time for a little catch-up.

I managed to meet most of my sewing goals for Christmas this year. That meant hand sewn gifts for most of the people on my giving list. I even finished some long projects that had lingered around my sewing room for years! This baby quilt had haunted me for years, and now it’s finally done and given to the baby (now a toddler) who it was meant for.

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I used some Aneela Hoey charm packs that I picked up at the Quilt Expo a few years ago. I love her charming prints for little ones. The pattern is the Patchwork Chevron Quilt tutorial that Jeni Baker did for Moda Bake Shop, reduced slightly in size. The lovely ladies at Material Matters in Thiensville did the quilting.

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IMG_1268This little zippered clutch was made from a pattern in the new and amazing book School of Sewing. It is the best instructional beginner sewing book that I have found. I’m a confident sewist, and I still learned new tricks from Shea’s book. I was thrilled to make this clutch entirely from fabric, notions, and hardware that I had in my stash. This went to my young cousin Abby.

IMG_1271This drawstring bag was made from my favorite standby pattern by Jeni Baker. I packed it full of yarn and knitting needles for my niece who showed an interest in learning how to knit.

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My husband’s secretary loves to knit, so she also got a drawstring bag with coordinating sock yarn.

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My two-year-old nephew is a hands-on, active kid. I used Badskirt’s tutorial to make these beanbags. They were tons of fun to make, sewed up quickly, and they’re fun to play with. I felt that I really needed to test them, so I confess that Peter and I tossed them around the house a few times before I wrapped them up for my nephew.

That’s a quick peek at my holiday gift sewing. What have you sewn for people that you like lately?