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Showing posts from 2017

Market Totes

The demise of the plastic bag has led to an increased need for durable and washable cloth bags. With a lot of extra fabric lying around from a defunct home decorating project, I engaged in some assembly-line sewing over the weekend to make some market bags.
 The finished bags have boxed corners, french seams for a durable and clean interior finish, and reinforced handles to make sure the bag can withstand the heaviest loads.
The final measurements are approximately 16" wide by 15" tall. To cut down on some time, I used plastic webbing for the handles, cut to 21" lengths, instead of making the handles from fabric. This is the perfect length for me so that the bags don't drag on the floor. (The best part about sewing is making things custom to the person and intended use. No one size fits all.)
The reinforced handles took up the majority of the sewing time, about 20 minutes to reinforce all four stress points. The rest of the bag itself is a quick make. All told, …

Labor Day Weekend and Making

Celebrating Labor Day weekend by engaging in some fun labor: starting a new bag.

Dressmaking at Home - Pattern C

I tried to sew Pattern C (White Blouse) in the book Dressmaking at Home by Machiko Kayaki. It's a simple blouse that has just 4 pieces (front, back, collar, and bias binding) and seemed doable enough for an introduction into clothesmaking.

The tips found on this site on interpreting Japanese patterns was very helpful in figuring how much seam allowance to add when cutting out the pieces.

Using some fabric found in the remnant pile at a fabric stall in Kyoto, I made my version in what feels like polyester, although the fabric does tend to hold a crease, so maybe not 100% polyester.

If you don't look too closely, the stitching is good enough. Although if you do look closely, the wonky stitching lines are readily apparent. The shirt fits well and didn't require any pattern modifications.

This pattern would be great in a cotton gauze or other lightweight fabric for warm summers because the shirt is loose, but still has some shaping, and the collar keeps it from being too basi…

SerendipitiJoy on Etsy

Now available at the store are handmade zippered bags that can be used for travel, running errands, shopping, or, my favorite, travel.

 They can be rolled up for easy storage.

 But are very roomy for bringing home souvenirs. Mine came in handy when stocking up on all the goodies in Tokyo a while back.

Make Your Own Sewing Weights

Finally expanding my repertoire to also include sewing clothes has meant learning a whole new set of skills, terminology, and tools. Totally fun. And then seeing online how other sewists use weights instead of pins has made me want to get sewing weights for a while, but they just seemed too expensive or cumbersome.

But then, a recent post about a Greedy Gift Grab on the super inspirational and fun blog, Communing with Fabric, contained a quick explanation about how to create sewing weights using washers. A quick online search shows that the idea and technique are not new, but still new to me.

Thus, off to the local hardware store to pick up a set of washers. Then with some E6000, loads of 3/4" ribbon, Thread End Glue, and Fabri-Tac, a fun set of sewing weights in not much actual hands-on time. (Although I do have a sore thumb pad from holding on to the washer while pulling the ribbon tightly with the other hand.)

For this ribbon and how I wrapped them, 49" of ribbon turned …