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?

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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!

Zip It

I have been too long away from my sewing machine. I work a lot of evenings and weekends, especially during the summer, and the rest of the time has been filled with summery activities. I do love spending time in the sun with family and friends, but I really wanted to get some time in at my sewing machine.

I needed something quick and easy to sew in just a few free hours. I searched through my downloaded pattern file and found this Zippy Pouch tutorial from Sew Mama Sew. It is simply, but it had some wonky patchwork in the design, which added interest.

I whipped up two of these pouches in an afternoon. Very satisfying quick sewing.

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This one was made from some leftover neutrals, a fat quarter that my husband bought for me, and some free fabric that I got accidentally when fabric.com messed up my order once. It was a “use up the extras” type of project, but I like the way the neutral prints play off one another.

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The tutorial calls for the zipper to be inserted in a very basic way. While this was easier to sew, it leaves this undesirable puckering at the end.

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For the second pouch, I added fabric tabs at the ends of the zippers to alleviate some of the puckering. This helps with the aesthetic appearance of the pouch and gives a cleaner finish. However, it shortens the length of the zipper, making the pouch less functional as you have less room in the opening. I wish I wasn’t so picky – but I just couldn’t live with a puckering zipper.

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This is the second finished pouch. Brighter colors! This one will be a gift for someone soon.

I’m going to make another one of these, but with slightly adjusted zipper tabs. I also plan to use that square block on the front as an opportunity to showcase some of the hundreds of hexies I basted during the cold winter months. This pouch pattern is so simple, but that front patchwork really does offer a neat opportunity to showcase something cool: embroidery, applique, a stamp or screenprint – lots of possiblities!