Ruched Handbag

On occasion, I have to set aside my usual “uniform” of jeans and blouses or knit dresses, and put on something a bit nicer.  These events tend to sneak up on me, and I frequently end up un-accessorized as a result.  This weekend I decided that it was time to at least have an appropriate purse for some of these Summer functions.

Ruched Handbag Exterior

My nicest Summer dress is a grey and beige stripe, so I decided to use a fabric in the same color scheme for the exterior of the bag.  This cotton is a Janet Clare print from her Field Guide line of fabric for Moda.  So far this bag is pretty subtle, and I couldn’t have that!  The main part of the interior is this cheerful green dot.

Ruched Handbag Interior

I designed this bag to be divided into two sections with a zippered pouch in the center.  On one side of the central zippered pocket, I added five card slots and a smaller zippered pouch with a pocket behind it.  The linings of the internal zippered pockets are bright pink.  I didn’t realize how much the interior of this bag looks like a watermelon until I took the pictures!

Ruched Handbag Pocket Interior

The inner lining lays smooth with the outer fabric ruched (gathered) over it.  Then the upper band with the zipper and wrist strap is added.  At about 9″x7″, this will work as a just-large-enough-for-an-evening bag, and it is nicer than my other bag without being too formal.

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day: Zippered Pouches

Today, in conjunction with Sew Mama Sew‘s Giveaway day, is the first giveaway I have done on this blog.  My blog is about five months old now, and I am excited to offer the chance to win these zippered pouches to all of my visitors.  I am very grateful for the kind words and support offered by those who have joined me in these early months, and I am excited to welcome new friends as well!

SMS Pouch Giveaway

I am trained as a theatrical scenic and costume designer and technician, but this blog focuses on my life outside of the theatre- The (not so) Dramatic Life.  Most of the work I share here is quilting related, but other sewing projects pop up from time to time.  My big project for the year is Mini Quilt Mania, for which I am creating a new mini quilt almost every week of the year for a total of 50 quilts.  I have done 18 so far, and I am thoroughly enjoying the process!

Pouch Lining

Pouch Lining

There are two zippered pouches in this giveaway.  They each have a blue denim exterior and are fully lined and trimmed with a cotton print from Amy Butler’s Violette fabric line.  The larger pouch is 6″x10″x4.5″ and would be a great container for carrying small projects or corralling toiletries when you travel.

The smaller pouch is an octagon measuring about 3.75″x3.75″ and is grommeted for use as a key ring.  This is perfect for carrying a little money, a phone charger, or thumb drive.  I have written a tutorial for creating this cord/coin pouch if you would like to make your own!

Would you like to enter to win this pair of pouches?  It’s easy- here’s how:

  • Leave a comment on this post telling me what project(s) you are working on right now and/or what your quilting or sewing goals are.  Is there a pattern you want to make? A technique you would like to try? A fabric line you are eager to use?  Is there a tutorial you would like to see made?  I love hearing what you are up to and interested in!
  • Followers, both long time and new, get a bonus entry!  Near the top of the sidebar there are several options for following me including Bloglovin’, Instagram, and Pinterest.  To get the bonus entry please leave a comment telling me how you follow.

This giveaway is open through 5pm PST on Sunday, May 10.  All comments on this post received by that time will be included in a random drawing.

I will email and post the winner on the blog on or before Wednesday, May 13.  Once I have the shipping address for the winner, your package will be in the mail by Friday, May 15.  (Should the winner not respond with a shipping address by Friday, May 15, I will draw a new winner and contact them via email and the blog)

There are lots more fantastic giveaways of both hand crafted items and supplies at Sew Mama Sew, so be sure to check those out as well!  Good Luck!

Update from May 11, 2015:  The winner of this giveaway is Catrin Lewis- Congratulations Catrin!  

Here are some other posts you may enjoy!

Mini Quilt Mania

Mini Quilt Mania

Rainbow Roundabout Mini Quilt

Rainbow Rotary

Marsala Mini Quilt

Marsala Mini

Winter Trees Mini Quilt

Winter Trees

Cord/Coin Pouches

Cord/Coin Pouches

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Create Your Own Tote Bag Tutorial Series

Spring Circle Skirt

Today I have another finish for the Second Quarter Finish Along.  After having this pretty quilter’s cotton for over nine months it was nice to check this project off the list.  This is a fully lined 3/4 circle skirt with a lapped side seam zipper.

Three Quarter Circle Skirt

I like circle skirts because they give a lot of fullness at the hem without any extra bulk at the waist.  What I do not like about circle skirts is the fact that most of the hem is on some degree of bias, so the hem tends to “grow” over time.  I made the skirt several days ago and then let it hang on the dress form for a week before hemming.  My Mom was pressed into service to mark an even line around the outer skirt to create the hemline.  To make sure the hem was as even as possible, I wore the shoes I will most likely wear with this skirt, and the even line was marked from the floor, not the waistband.  After doing a roll hem on the outer skirt, I marked the lining length and hemmed it 3/4″ shorter than the outer layer.  I am hoping that additional “growth” will be minimal since it is only knee length (the weight of longer skirts can cause them to grow more) and the fabrics are fairly sturdy.

This skirt is all ready for my trip to Paducah, KY for the AQS show, so hopefully it will be warm enough to wear this week!

Goal #21 is Finished!

Goal #21 is Finished!

Sewing Apron!

A good sewing apron can make working on a project a lot easier, especially if you are like me- leaving a trail of supplies wherever you go!  This summer I will be working in a theatrical costume shop creating patterns for the clothing worn on stage.  An apron is even more helpful in this communal sewing environment when you not only have your tools laying out, but everyone else’s as well.  My old apron was getting pretty sad after about six years of use, so it was definitely time for something new.

Sewing Apron front view

I have gone through a few aprons over the years, and lately I have liked a half apron tied at the waist rather than a full apron. The last apron I made had a single pocket, and the apron before had about half a dozen different pockets.  For me, having lots of pockets made sense when I was doing wardrobe and needed to have separate areas for different sized safety pins, a threaded needle, scissors, flashlight, etc.  One pocket is fine working in a shop, but I decided to try a different format to mix a large pocket with separate area for scissors, seam rippers, and pencils.

Denim is durable, coordinates with most of my work clothes, and I had some left from a previous project!  I lined it with a pink solid cotton for added durability, and trimmed the whole thing with a bias cut stripe by Lotta Jansdotter.

Sewing Apron back view

One thing that has driven me nuts with previous aprons is how it is difficult to sit down with much of anything in the pocket. Getting poked with scissors is no fun!  I wanted to give this apron just a little bit of fullness so it will fall more naturally when going to sit down.  I didn’t want to gather the denim, so I added a small pleat to each side.  This seams to do the trick- no poking!

Sewing Apron detail

Hopefully this apron will get several years of use- just like its predecessors!

Goal #26 is Finished!

Goal #26 is Finished!

I’m linking up with Sew and Show at Straight Grain this week.  Please stop in to see all of the wonderful work shown there!

2015 Second Quarter Finish Goals

I can hardly believe we are entering the second quarter of 2015!  This time around I have a unrealistically long list and a mix of goals: a dozen mini quilts, a few larger projects, a couple bags, a some smaller gifts.  2015 Finish Along Q2

I am excited to once again join in the Finish Along fun with Adrianne at On the Windy Side!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Goals 1-12

In order to keep up with Mini Quilt Mania I am planning to make a dozen more mini quilts for the second quarter of this year.  These are in various stages of completion: sketches, patterns drafted, fabrics chosen, and a couple are even being sewn!

Quilt 5 / 50

Goal 13

In January I started a starburst quilt based on my Happy New Year! mini quilt, and this project is a rollover from Q1.  I have this piece about half quilted right now, and I would really like to get this one finished up this quarter!Starburst process

Goal 14

For my Modern Quilt Guild Riley Blake challenge quilt I am making a “potholder” style quilt using hexagonal bound blocks rather than the more traditional squares.  This quilt will be completely reversible, with one side being predominantly turquoise with the other side leaning toward the pinks in the collection.  Right now the quilt is about halfway pieced.Riley Blake process

Goal 15

I knew as soon as I saw the Viewfinder fabric in Melody Miller’s Playful collection by Cotton and Steel that I wanted a Quilted Purse made with it.  I am slightly scaling up the pattern I created for my current purse.  I have set the zipper into the top panel, quilted the main fabric, and made the handles.Purse process

Goal 16

Sometimes I wish I had a Cross-body bag to carry when I need a more hands-free shopping (or quilt show) experience.  I have sketched the design, pulled fabrics, and I am looking for a source for a double tab purse zipper that is at least 30″.  This shouldn’t be so hard to find- I mean- you must be able to buy luggage zippers, right?  Any sourcing suggestions?

Goal 17

I designed and made these cute little blocks for my Baubles Quilt months ago.  I need to put together a top and get this thing quilted and finished!Baubles Blocks

Goal 18

This Secret Project (roll over from Q1) is still quilted, ready for finishing, and needs to stop hanging out under my work table! Here’s hoping this quilt makes it into a finished pile this quarter!secret project process

Goal 19

I am going to be needing a few small thank you gifts for this summer, so I am hoping to get six (or more) cord/coin pouches made.Cord pouch fabric

Goal 20

This quilted pillow top needs a zippered back and finishing.Pillow Top

Goal 21

I bought this fabric last summer to make a skirt.  Now that it is warming up again I need to get this made up!Skirt Fabric

Goal 22

I recently started another Bionic Bag, and I will be finishing it up in Q2.  I have all my pieces cut, interfacing fused, zippers installed, sides assembled, and the outer panel quilted.Bionic Bag process

Goal 23

I started a set of placemats last fall.  I have a set of four that just need the binding finished.

placemat process

Goal 24

I started sewing this hexagon project when I needed some handwork.  I’m not entirely certain how large this is going to get, but I’m hoping to discover what exactly this wants to be.Hexagon process

Goal 25

In the first quarter I created a baby quilt sized Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt.  This quarter I will be making a lap quilt size version of this quilt.

Sweet and Simple Hashtag Quilt

Goal 26

This summer I’ll be working as a theatrical cutter/draper. (A draper uses the performer’s measurements to create patterns for a costume.)  I haven’t done this in awhile (I’m pretty excited to return to it!), and when I pulled out my sewing apron it was really worn.  I will definitely need to find time to make a replacement before I leave for this job!  I have some denim left over from another project, and I am still deciding what fabric to use for the accent.  These are my top choices right now.Apron fabric

This list is super long, and I recognize that a some of these projects may not get finished (or even touched) this quarter, but a lot of items are pretty far along, so once again I am cautiously optimistic!