Sunday, October 17, 2010

An Apple a Day

Me shopping at Solebury Orchards

I love apples and certainly do enjoy my apple a day!  And since I’m unable to sew, how about a trip up to Solebury Orchards in New Hope, PA?!

The Farmhouse at Solebury Orchards

MrBeans tricked me…somewhat.  He invited me to join him on a trip up to the Orchards.  I’m dreaming of apple picking; he’s dreaming of 37 gallons of cider.  Seriously. His current obsession is home brewing, and brewing hard cider is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to do it.  So while he was checking into on how to purchase an obnoxious amount of cider, I was poking around the farm’s market. 

Doing what I love: grocery shopping.

I can’t wait to make some apple crisp or apple pie!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Check Engine Light


While sewing last week, the “check engine light” on my sewing machine turned on.  And yes, it’s just as annoying as when it turns on in the car.  Sure, you can keep sewing…or your can bring it into the dealership and expect to hand over your wallet when you want it back.  Well, being that I probably care more about my sewing machine than my car, I sadly dropped it off at my local sewing machine shop.  Back at home, unable to sew and unmotivated to clean, I took a nap most of the afternoon.  :)

SewBeans custom embroidered onesie.

To get my sewing fix in, I took care of one last onesie before dropping it off.  I hope my machine’s not gone long!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Handmade Laptop Bag


I made a foolish decision. I purchased a 17” laptop.  This was foolish, because almost no where, on God’s green earth, can one find a laptop bag big enough to fit such a monstrosity of a computer.  At the time, I had no clue I would run into such a debacle.  I, blinded by the large screen and number pad, possessed not a clue into the lack of portability that would ensue when purchasing these features. So I’m sure you can figure out what I did…

A Laptop Bag Designed by Me!

I graciously helped myself to my stash of fabric make a perfectly sized laptop case for my over-sized, “portable” computer.

If you can manage to follow my steps, you may be inclined to try to make your own.  I used a 1/2” seam allowance and happily finished with a functional laptop bag.

Step 1: Seclecting the perfect fabrics.

I decided to use one of my prized Heather Ross fabrics, Natural Roses from Far Far Away 2, and some leftover blue fabric from the back of a quilt I haven’t quite finished yet…
Step 2: Cutting pieces for the inner lining and outside. I based the construction of the bag on a box with an open top.  I carefully measured around each edge of my laptop, then cut each side, adding to the length and width an 1 inch for seam allowances and 1/2 fudge factor.  (I couldn’t imaging going through all this trouble for the bag to be too small!)
Step 3: Practice by making the lining first. I made two sets of fabric boxes, one for the inner lining and one for the outer.  I made the inner lining first to test my design.  I sewed together the four sides of the box, then the bottom.  Before sewing on the bottom, I carefully pinned it in place.
Step 4: Make sure the laptop will fit in the bag! I anxiously “tried on” the laptop bag by slipping my computer into the lining.  It fit!
Step 5: Add some cushioning. Next, to add a little extra padding, I basted batting onto the inside of each outside bag piece.
Step 6: Create some unique handles. Using the top edge of my largest side, I sketched a creative shape for my handles on some trace paper.  With some fancy folding (in half) I was able to make them symmetrical.  (Please be aware that these handles serve a more aesthetic purpose than functional.)
Step 7: Add your own whimsy and charm. For fun, I was inspired by the Velveteen Rabbit and appliqué a little bit of whimsy on to my bag.
I created the outer shell of my laptop bag by duplicating my inner lining box construction, and sewed together the sides, then pinned and sewed on the bottom.
Step 8: Create and attach a flap for securing the bag closed. I created a flap for the top of my laptop bag, being careful to make sure it fit between my handles.  I made the flap close with a button hole, because I was nervous that if I tried velcro, the pieces wouldn’t line up.  I’m mad at myself for forgetting to switch from my basting thread to my finish thread.  Luckily, I remembered before stitching around the edge.
Step 9: Sew it all together. After basting on the flap between the back handle, I put the exterior bag into the lining and sewed around the top.  Through a hole in the side of the lining, I flipped the bag right sides out and lining sides in.
Step 10: Finishing Touches I edge stitched around the top for a finished look, then carefully attached the button into place
Now that's a handmade laptop bag! Now, I have a super cool, handmade, and one-of-a-kind laptop bag.  I think it’s really awesome!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Most Fun DIY Wreath Ever


This has to be the most fun fabric wreath to make!  Super easy, inexpensive, quick, stress relieving, and turns out handsomely…what more could you want in a craft project?!

DIY Fabric Wreath

A friend of mine found this project on the blog, The DIY Show Off, and after trying it herself, insisted that I make one.  What a great friend!  I love admiring how beautifully this wreath came out and dreaming of what fabrics to make the next out of.   I finished this first wreath in about an hour.  It’s as simple as pinking some fabric squares then jabbing them into a straw wreath form with a screw driver.  (That’s the stress relieving part of it!) 

Close up on my "leaves."

The vine pattern batik I picked out at Joann Fabric (and purchased with a 50% off coupon!) was perfect for this project.  With the pinked edges, the wreath has a very organic texture.  I didn’t use any glue, and the fabric used totals a yard and a third.   My wreath didn’t have any bare spots, but there were plenty of places I could have added more fabric if I had it.

My fabric wreath hanging in my dining room.

I tied it with some grosgrain ribbon, and hung it from my old porch door.  Love it!  I can’t wait to make the next!