Cotton + Steel Open Wide Pouch

I am completely enamored with this handwritten US states print by Alexia Abegg for Cotton + Steel. I bought the linen substrate version in navy and cream, and the coral version came through the Pink Castle Cotton + Steel Fat Quarter club. I think this print just screams to be made into travel items!

I am saving the navy and cream linen for a big, beautiful tote. Maybe the Super Tote by Noodlehead. The coral print had to be used immediately because I simply couldn’t resist. I sewed it into an Open Wide Pouch because that’s my go-to weekend project.

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I used Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed Linen as the base and a Parson Gray print for the lining.

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Now I want to fill this up with goodies and take it on a road trip!

Divided Basket for a New Baby

Babies are teeny tiny mysteries. I don’t have one, and I never have, so I don’t fully understand what they’re all about. Lots of my friends and relatives are having babies, and as is customary, I give them baby-related gifts. My complete cluelessness about babies makes it challenging to identify an appropriate gifts for new parents and their babies. In my confusion, I usually just sew something and then add a book or two.

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Thank goodness for Anna Graham and her outstanding patterns. This is the second time I have made a divided basket as a baby shower gift, and it is such a versatile pattern. I was able to work completely from my stash (hurrah for frugality!) and fill up the basket with small but hopefully useful items for the new baby boy.

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The exterior fabric is an adorable Moda print featuring multicolored origami animals. It had a bunch of bright colors and a nice gray neutral, so it paired well with random items in my stash. I found the origami animal print while visiting Quiltwork Patches in Eugene, Oregon, and at the time I had no idea what I would do with it but I just had to have it. I am glad that I was able to put it to use – it is perfect for a baby gift.

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The basket is filled with some of my favorite board books, a small toy, and some extra onesies. I hear that babies are mighty messy. A change of clothes might come in handy.

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I used fusible fleece in addition to the recommended interfacing, as suggested in the pattern, and it made a sturdy basket that stands on its own. I wish I had done the fabric-covered handles because that would have helped bring it all together…but I was in a rush and wanted to get this sewn up and in the mail before the baby arrived. I hope the new baby (and his parents) like it!

 

Leather Bottom Pouch

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I am obsessed with sewing zippered pouches, especially this one: the open wide pouch by Anna Graham, the brilliant mind behind Noodlehead. I have made roughly 15 of these beauties and enjoyed every minute of sewing them.

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I love this pouch because the design is utterly practical. It opens wide (hence the name) and you can get at everything inside easily. This is perfect for me…the woman who throws everything into a bag willy nilly and then has to rummage around to find it later. My packing skills are truly atrocious.

The exterior fabric is from Pat Bravo’s Indie collection with Art Gallery Fabrics. I savor this print, and it’s hard for me to cut up the yardage from that collection, but this bag seemed worthy of the honor. The lining is a print from Anna Maria Horner’s versatile True Colors collection.

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I have been experimenting with sewing leather, and I decided to incorporate some into this bag. The bottom of the bag was cut from leather upholstery scraps generously given to me by my mother-in-law so that I could explore some of my sewing whims.

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I used a leather needle to sew all seams on the bottom portion of the bag. I also switched from my usual 100% cotton thread to a 100% polyester thread for the leather base. Cotton threads can be eaten away by the natural oils in leather, and I wanted this bag to last. Even though it added a few minutes to the process to re-thread the machine, I feel it is worth the extra time to have a durable product.