The thoughts, sewing projects, and fabric oglings of a dedicated sewist.

What's Up: Skirt Party, New Clutch Wallet, New Bag for Etsy, Progress on Corsetted Pencil Skirt

This week was . . . something.  I had big goals for what I wanted to get done before the skirt party on Saturday night.  And then, of course, my plans hit some bumps.  Bumps in the form of crummy tummies and drippy noses and hot heads (not me, but my kids).  I managed to get most of it done with the help of Disney (so I could get 90 minutes of sewing in while the younger one napped) and at the sacrifice of a few hours of sleep.

I did find success with my two big problem-solving challenges of the week, even though the first solution didn't work out in either case.  I had to have a talk with myself at the beginning of the week about this.  I wanted (due to the constant pressure of feeling like all sewing minutes should be used fully and productively) my projects to turn out right the first time, and when I felt this wish I had to say firmly, "No, they won't."  Remembering that helped me approach the projects with curiosity instead of desparation.

Challenge #1 was the clutch wallet I talked about last week.  I looked at some tutorials online and tried one of them but didn't much like the result and jumped ship halfway through when I realized it wasn't going where I wanted it to.  I tweaked things and the next wallet turned out a little better:

I almost broke my sewing machine trying to get through all of the layers of upholstery fabric and the end result was still too messy so I decided to keep this one for myself and try again.  Number two worked out much better and it found an owner at the skirt party on Saturday night!

It is constructed completely from scraps: the outer fabric is scrap upholstery fabric (when I showed it to the woman who gave me the fabric, she said, "Oh, it's Anna's couch!") and the inner fabric is upholstery swatches.  I need to make another one this week for a custom order and then I'll write up a tutorial.

Challenge #2 was the corsetted skirt for my client Diane (see picture here).  I turned the pattern I drafted into a muslin and had her stop by to try it on.  The "corset" lines weren't quite where they needed to be but now I know what to do (see blue lines):


So I now have a map and once the fabric arrives (charcoal denim), I know I can get there!  Which is a good thing to know because I wasn't quite sure when I told Diane, "Sure I can do that!" 

With all of the new challenges to contend with it was fun to end the week by making something that I know.  I made a new MaiseyBelle Reversible bag to bring to the party Saturday night.  As you know (see here), I've been hankering to make something with the colors tangerine tango and purple, and here it is:

The MaiseyBelle Bag is my version of Heather Bailey's Marlo Bloom Bag.  I didn't like making the fabric & interfacing handle in the original pattern, so I figured out how to make a casing for a wooden handle and use that instead (let me know if you want a tutorial for this).  For this bag, I made a Kanzashi flower - thank you Dani at Live Creatively Now for the tutorial!  I wanted it to be extra big so I used a mixing bowl for the circles instead of a glass.  This left a big hole in the middle to fill, hence the large button and felt circle.  Next time I think I'll make a second flower of smaller petals to put on top of the larger one.

The week ended with my second skirt party, hosted by Jen.  There were five smart, creative ladies present, which turns out to be the perfect size.  I got bunch of orders and even sold a couple of things (but not the aforementioned MaiseyBelle bag so that will be going into my Etsy shop soon).  And I've now got work lined up for about the next 8 weeks!  Not a bad way to end the week!

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