Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reuse-Reduce-Recycle!!


I love this concept! It makes me look at old clothes and other items in a different perspective! So, when I chanced upon this tutorial to recycle a pair of old jeans into a tote, I fell in love with it! Once upon a time, not so long ago, I used to be much thinner than I am now! Really!! I don't fit into any of the clothes from that time frame anymore but, I was still hung upon them! I didn't have the heart to give 'em away and was using them for a while to motivate myself to lose weight and get back to my old figure.But, 4 years down the line, I have resigned to the fact that I may not be using them again at all. So, this tutorial motivated me to chop up my most fave pair of jeans! I literally lived my out-of-college,with-a-job,on-my-own 'bachelorette' days in it! and, it became this:



The only things freshly used for this bag are the zippers. I recycled an old and unused 'nightie' for the lining. I love the batik fabric so much that I didn't have the heart to give the nightie away and so it sat in my closet for two years waiting to be turned into lining for my denim tote! Here is a picture of the innards of the bag:




The only improvisation I did was adding a zippered pocket in the lining inside. I prefer to have a few pockets in my bag to keep important things secure and in place. I missed that in the bags I made previously. So, I decided to give it a try this time and I used this tutorial from U-handbag. I am getting the hang of working with the zipper foot of my sewing machine though I still need more practice. The outer pockets of the tote are the back-pockets of my old jeans. Here is a close-up of the zippered inner pocket:




Its a BIG tote. Its very roomy so that I am never without a knitting or a crochet project and a book anywhere I go. The tote is 14 inches wide at the top, 10.5 inches tall with a 9 X 4 inch bottom. I reinforced the bottom by sticking a denim sleeve with acrylic sheets with fabric glue to the inside of the outer denim fabric before sewing the lining. The acrylic sheets were recycled from the outer covers of old spiral-bound study books. I am glad that the tote can stand on its own. Here is a picture of it standing on its own to give an idea about the size:



So, this tote came to work with me today and here is a picture of it at my desk along with my Tupperware lunch bag!! Sorry for the grainy picture..it was taken with my mobile camera.



This tote is special to me as it reminds me of my days in Bangalore, of the shopping sprees I had with my friends, of the fun times I had while at work there! I am glad I made this tote to make this jeans a part of my day-to-day life now! :-)

-Josie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The return of the Tatting Shuttle!

I organized my craft closet! I enjoyed doing it! and, I came across my tatting supplies.. So after a long hiatus from tatting, I got reacquainted with my tatting shuttles! I think the last time I tatted anything was more than 2 years ago when I wanted to make edgings for my niece. Tatting is my oldest hobby and I learnt it from Mansha during our college days. She was my room-mate in College hostel and she had the patience to teach me tatting. I am glad I learnt it then as I don't think I could've learnt it without a demo in real life.

So, I tatted a bookmark as a comeback and it went very fast.The pattern is from Be-stitched.com by Nancy. Here is the link to it: Tatted bookmark! I always thought of tatting as a slow craft.. you spend hours on it and you end up with a few inches of an edging.. but, this time around, I was able to finish the bookmark in 3 evenings after work. The bookmark measures 9.5 inches long and 2 and 1/4 inches wide. I feel that tatting makes the sturdiest form of lace and I love to use it on clothing. Here is a picture of the bookmark modeling on a book!








Speaking of the book in the picture,its a good read.I am not sure if I believe zodiac or not..but, I like studying people based on their zodiac signs. I like finding similarities between their real life personalities and their zodiac personalities.But, I am not prejudiced against anyone just because they come under a particular zodiac. That is why I am not sure if I believe it or not. I am a Gemini and I am proud of it..though it not my achievement! ;-) So, here is the bookmark modeling on my page!!



I have made the bookmark from the same pattern previously as a b'day gift for a dear friend of mine who has received the most handmade items from me! ;-) I was thinking of Mansha all the while I was tatting this..going back to my college days in my hostel when I learnt tatting from her.. how I struggled to get a hang of this craft. So, I dedicate this bookmark to her and I am gonna send it to her as a token of thanks! :-)

So, tell me about your experience of learning your hobbies from your friend or your family and if you are still in touch with that person and the craft.. I would like to hear from you.

-Josie

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A girl can never have too many bags!

I LOVE bags! Of course, every girl does. Since I have started sewing, I've been scouting for easy-peasy bag patterns to make. And, I came across a few patterns that caught my eye and I gave 'em a go! So, after a few weeks of working on my sewing machine, I have two bags to show you guys! The first on is a handbag made of fabric from my stash. I used the tutorial I found in a LiveJournal community here: Handbag tutorial Its a very concise tutorial which doesn't give you any measurement details and such. So, I used the measurements from my favorite handbag and made this bag. It came out pretty good for a first timer at bag-making! I've been taking it to work and my team mates are impressed! So, without much ado, I will introduce my first bag here!



The next photo was taken before I put a zipper closure on the top. I didn't have enough foresight to learn how to put a recessed zipper and I struggled a lot to put the zipper closure in.



Can you see the matchy-matchy mittens on the needles?? I got the yarn as a RAK from Bebere from Ravelry. Its Rowanspun DK in a lovely shade of green. The mittens havent progressed from what you see here as I have been busy spending more time with my sewing machine. Here is a snap of the bag after I put in the zipper!



The bag is roomy with two outer pockets that close with magnetic snaps and an inner pocket. The only misgiving I have about this bag is that its very floppy. The fusible interfacing available here is not a good quality one. So, I used cotton flannel fabric between the outer and the inner fabric. I used a cardboard to give stiffness to the bag bottom! I've been looking for a place to buy these bag-making hardware in Hyderabad. If any one has any pointers to these shops, please drop a comment here. I will be more than grateful.

The next bag I made is a tote! Its called a poochie bag and here is the pattern: poochie bag It uses 3 fat-quarters.I got 4 coordinating fat quarters from Christine from Ravelry in a swap and I've been hunting for fat-quarter friendly patterns. I found the perfect pattern in this poochie bag which uses 3 fat-quarters. The only modification I made was adding a zipper closure. I prefer my bags with secure closures and I was lucky I had the perfect colored zipper for the fabrics I was using. I used cotton flannel fabric between the outer and the inner fabric for some stiffness. Here is the bag in all its cuteness!



I will risk the apparent perfection of the bag by presenting a close-up of it here. The bag has two outer pockets and a zipper closure. Its 10 inches wide, 9 inches tall with a 4 inch wide base. Its perfect!!



Here is a close-up of the innards and the zipper detail. I'm loving this bag just too much to use it! I think I will use it to carry my knitting/crochet projects around. I might make a small zippered pouch for the notions to go along with this bag with the fourth fat-quarter that's remaining. Now, that will keep me busy for an evening!



I've been gushing about this bag ever since it came off the sewing machine! Its too cute for words! I see more of these bags in the future. I am also toying with the idea of opening a shop in etsy for my handmade items. Let me see how much time and energy I can spend on it.. The idea is still in the budding stage and let me see how it goes..
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