Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time to start sewing for fall - Let's start with the Zombie Apocalypse!

Yep, summer is slipping buy. I sew a little something every day, but lately, I've been obsessed with the Zombie Apocalypse. True devotees have their go bags all ready. So, being the good citizen I am, I figured it was time to make a Zombie Apocalypse tote bag. I found some amazing fabric at Spoonflower (they'll even print fabric of your own design!), and have been having fun with it ever since.

Here's part 1 of the Zombie Apocalypse tote bag. More to come!

That's the finished product. Unfortunately, the picture shows the shadows of the quilting lines and it's not the best. Don't worry, there's another one below. 

This is the fabric and I love it. As soon as I saw it, I had to have it. 

 First things first. I found a brain coloring page on line and made some adjustments, then cut out some large brains for the tote bags and small ones for future placemats. 

I first made the bag front and back, using a 4" x 4" patchwork using recycled denim.  
Then it was time to sew. You can see the quilting lines a little better. I used my machine and did parallel lines approximately 1/2" apart. Then I stitched around the edge, close to the edge as possible.  

Then came the fun part - satin stitching around the brain. I did a wide stitch with essentially no stitch length. When it was completed, I applied a fray retardant solution to the appliqued edge.

A good denim tote needs a recycled denim pocket. The stitching was reinforced on the cotton faux denim lining. I stitched around it twice so that it was made to use and not baby. 

Time for handles. I cut 4" strips from another piece of denim then folded it and ironed it on a high heat to get a crease down the center. I folded raw edges to the crease and stitched them down on both sides. 

Then, I folded this in half and stitched down both sides for closure and reinforcement. The finished handle is about 1" wide. (I'll add a measurement of the length of the handle in my next post, but if you can't wait, measure the handles on a tote you like and cut your handles 1" or so longer.)
Brain on bag and handles. Now to put it together. 

That's the beginning. I'll be posting the photos and how-to for making the bag, adding the lining and handles, and finishing it all up!

You know you need a Zombie Apocalypse go bag - make one! 

More to come. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

So, I had pneumonia - guess what I did? Sewing, sort of. (Update: 09/14/14)

 I don't crochet, I really don't. But, I used to, sort of.  

I crocheted a very small rug about 25 years ago. It lived in the bathroom for years. I had a book about crocheting fabric and remembered that I used to crochet as a kid. I wondered how hard it could be, and it wasn't. I did the easy oval that was shown in the book and used up tons of remnants of fabric. The yarn is 1-1/2" strips that are torn, attached to each other with just a few stitches, and then rolled into a ball. The hook is either J or K. Whatever it is, it's huge. 

Well, I ended up with pneumonia somehow and had to stop exercise classes and take it easy. I made a blouse (will share that after I have a photo). I repaired all the mending that needed help. I was so bored. I wasn't in the mood for fine hand sewing to work on my hexie quilt. I broke out that big hook, started tearing remnants into strips and began my oval. I made the first piece THREE times. I took it apart because it was so humpy in the middle. (I can't find my book, so was going on memory and a few online instructions.)  After taking it apart the third time, I got it to the size shown here. And I was running out of remnants. 

I found a bigger piece of fabric that I had intended to make into the bodice of an Empire waist dress. As it turns out, I made two dresses out of that pattern and neither were all that great. They became "toss on in the morning until you get dressed" dresses. A third was no longer in the works, so I tore that into strips too. Why not? And I crocheted and crocheted and crocheted, and the result for round 2 is below. 

Interestingly, the light blue above is the print that would have been the rest of the Empire waist dress I never made. Between that and the rust color is some old brightly colored snake fabric. I knew I'd never use it for anything, so into the rug it went. 

I then moved on to a darker blue, which I ran out of fairly quickly. I grabbed some light weight lavender fabric and tore it into strips and got started on growing the rug even larger. I got around one time with the lavender and said to myself - You are not sick anymore. You do not need this rug anymore.  

And I was right. 

I tied it off and put it in the dog's crate. I'm making a cushion for her crate, but it's not big enough for the whole thing, so the newly dubbed Pneumonia Rug fills in just right. 

It's not pretty, it's lumpy and bumpy, but you know what? I love it. It has kept me company and kept me semi sane for a few weeks now. My obsession with crocheting kept me from being obsessed with my illness. 

Today, I went to exercise for the second time since being ill, I am back to feeling like cooking, and I am sleeping again - all of those things were disrupted or interrupted for several weeks. I'm so happy I'm back! 

Another upside to being sick, but not sick enough to not sew, is finishing those little unfinished projects I had lying around. 

Thanks to everyone who wished me well and let's get back to our needles and thread! 

Update: My dog loves the rug and the covered dog pillow which now live in her crate. We keep the door open and she stops in once in a while just to hang out. And sometimes, dad gets in with her.