Thursday, March 24, 2011

Purses, Bags, & More - Book Review

If you've read this blog for any length of time, you know that I enjoy sewing purses and bags on occasion. So when I was asked to be part of a blog tour introducing Clotilde's new book, Purses, Bags, & More, I was glad to participate.

Purses, Bags, & More is a 48-page book featuring 10 fabulous projects designed by Pearl Louise Krush. I like that all the purses in the book are unique in style and design. The instructions appear to be clearly written, detailed, and easy to understand with helpful illustrations. No actual pattern pieces are given, but dimensions are given for each piece needed to complete each project. I think that beginning and advanced sewers alike would have great success sewing any of these 10 purses.

The "On The Town" bag is a cute patchwork bag, oblong in size, with some neat details including the contrast "flange" strip and the tie closure. I especially like the gathered side panels and the handles that look like they're buttoned on. The instructions for the bag are concisely written with orderly steps to create the patchwork and bag assembly.

Purses, Bags, & More is available here as a hard copy and AND also as a PDF download if you just can't wait to receive your copy in the mail. Follow the blog tour to read more about other projects in this great new book.

Day 1 (Mar 21): Tara of Tinkerfrog
Day 2 (Mar 22): Cindy of Sew Blessed

Day 3 (Mar 23): Stephanie of Unfinished Sewing Projects

Day 4 (Mar 24): Ruth (me!) of SewChic

Day 5 (Mar 25): Julie of From These Hands

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rambling, Until Later

Today I attempted to sew. Happy day! Even though I didn't get much more done than cut out the pattern, at least I made it up to my sewing room. It's been a good but busy week so far. Tomorrow I have an oboe lesson...another good thing...and I hope to do some more sewing, maybe even start the skirt I cut out today.

On another note, recently I added a few more sets of pattern weights to my Etsy shop, and today one set was included in a "treasury" made by Lynn Minney Designs. Thanks, Lynn! Isn't this collection pretty? I like the primary colors of the images.

Okay, I'm rambling. Until later,

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pattern Winners!

We have two winners!!!

After I copied and pasted the comments into a Word document (automatic numbering!), removed the deleted comments and duplicate comments, there remained 102. Wow, and thank you to everyone who commented! :) I used to choose two winners.

Okay, ta da...drum roll....

The first winner is #18, Alisa, of Making More with Less. She will receive the pattern for the Victory Bags. Take a look at Alisa's beautiful quilts on her blog that she shares with her sister.

The Crossover Carry-All Bag pattern will go to #37, Dawn of (4:35 am). Dawn's blog has been so inspirational to me with her beautiful photography and crafting...oh,and you should see the awesome smocking she does!

So, Alisa and Dawn, we will mail your patterns to you after we get your mailing addresses. Again, thank you to everyone who commented.

Ruth and Jessica

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Purse Pattern Giveaway Ends Soon

I had hoped to sew the Crossover Carry-All bag pattern from Indygo Junction before ending the giveaway (previous post), but it just isn't going to happen. Well, maybe I still have time....we'll see...but just so you know, the last day to leave a comment on the giveaway post will be in 4 days on Sunday, March 13th.

The drawing will be for two patterns, Victory Bags and the Crossover Carry-All, and they will be given to two different readers. So, if you haven't already done so, go comment on this post
here. Spread the word---there are only 4 days left to comment.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

A New Purse and a Pattern Giveaway

NOTE: Comments are now closed for the giveaway.

"Victory Bags" from Indygo Junction by Amy Barickman

Pattern Description:

From the pattern back: A pair of stylish shoulder bags with a 1940s wartime influence. The Victory Bags are constructed with a set-in gusset base and are a sensible size for everyday use. Both styles include instructions for an internal zippered or patch pocket.

Pattern Sizing:
one size: The bags measure approximately 14” wide x 11” high x 3” deep at the base, excluding shoulder strap.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?

Yes. I sewed View A with the buttons. View B sports a buckle.

Were the instructions easy to follow?

The instructions were well-written with clear, helpful illustrations. The only thing I found lacking was a pattern layout diagram. Because of the many pieces, a layout diagram would have been helpful.

Error on pattern piece G: pattern piece says to cut 2 from interfacing; only 1 is needed.

The gussets were surprisingly easy to sew. I expected to have to re-do the gussets at least once, but they came together just right and on the first try. Again, great instructions!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?

I like the style and size of this purse. The gussets at the purse bottom make for a roomy inner compartment. The purse is easy to sew, but yet the details of the design make it interesting. I also like that the purse has a magnetic snap closure under the front flap. The 3 buttons are for just for show. :)

Fabric Used:
Exterior: I used a piece of home decor fabric--a heavy twill, I think--a typical home decorating fabric with a mod leave print on a lime green background.

Interior: A cotton quilting fabric from my stash. The bag also has an inner lining of Pellon fleece. The strap and front flap are also interfaced with fusible interfacing.

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:

The only change I made was to add a second pocket to the purse interior. The pattern gives great instructions on how to make a zippered pocket; my bag has both the zippered pocket and the added second patch pocket.

I love, love, love this pattern. It's the perfect size purse, and I can imagine making several in various fabrics...change the fabric and you get a whole new look..cute and trendy, sleek or classic...just imagine the possibilities! I will definitely make this pattern again, but next time in View B.


Okay, if you've read this far, here is the information about the pattern giveaway! Sew Chic will be giving away two purse patterns from Indygo Junction, complements of Amy Barickman, owner and founder of Indygo Junction. The two purse patterns are: Victory Bags (reviewed above), and Cross-Over Carryall, another great pattern I hope to sew up soon.

To enter, go to the Indygo Junction site and browse the shop. Then come back here and leave a comment on this post answering the following question: If you were to buy one item from Indygo Junction, what would it be?

Be sure to leave your email address so we have a way to contact you if your name is drawn.

Note, because of shipping costs, this giveaway is open only to people with addresses in the United States and Canada. We're sorry that this is closed to our international readers.

In a week or two, we will choose 2 winners for the 2 patterns. The first winner will receive her choice of the 2 patterns, and the second winner will receive the 2nd pattern.

Now, go to Indygo Junction and have fun browsing all the fabulous patterns! :)
happy sewing,
Ruth and Jessica

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Vintage Notions Book Review...giveaway on Thursday!

Vintage Notions, by Amy Barickman...I was so blessed to receive a copy of this lovely book to excited to share a bit of her book with you, my readers!

Truly a delight for lovers of all things vintage, this book is much, much more than your typical craft project book (although it does contain sewing patterns and projects!). Basically, in a nutshell, it's a compilation of the vintage fashion and magazine articles from the early 1900's. It is chock full of recipes, household tips, inspirational quotes and poems, advice for friendship and relationships...and it is simply filled with lovely illustrations and vintage fashions. Delightful!

Vintage Notions is a celebration of the beauty and joy to be found in the womanly arts of homemaking, decorating, fashion sewing, and cooking...this would be an excellent book to share with a special friend...or to treat yourself with if you are in need of some household inspiration and encouragement!

Oh, did I mention that this is a large book...240 pages...there is definitely enough inspiration here to last a year at least!

I have always loved old things...I have many memories of antique shopping trips with my grandmother. She taught me to appreciate the beauty of the past and I loved hearing her stories and paging through her albums of black and white photos, asking "who's this" again and again.

This book brought back a lot of those memories...memories of my grandma, (she would love this book!) and memories of the ideals and romantic notions of my teenage years. Ideals that have sadly gotten shoved to the back of my mind as I've grown up and taken on new responsibilities...the busyness of life has a way of making one forget about the important things, doesn't it?

I think I'd forgotten the dignity, joy and meaning that can and should be derived from creative home arts...making good food for my family, playing outside with my kids, indulging in sewing something for myself, reaching out in friendship to the people God has placed in my life...all of these things are important and the enjoyment of them shouldn't be neglected in the craziness of life.

I think this vintage quote from the book sums up what I'm trying to say...
(pg. 96)

"I could not help thinking what the day means to me. It is always like a new piece of cloth to use in the best way that I know. Material means so much to me--its texture, color, width, and purpose--that even if it is only a kitchen curtain or a cloth for dish toweling, it has its use and should be cut and made the best way I know so that it may give the greatest satisfaction and comfort.
And our lives are as a day. We must make them fruitful. How? By total unselfishness. Selfish people often have comforts that the unselfish do not have, but they never possess the same quantity of rightness and happiness....
A woman, according to her love and energy, has a great responsibility
in making her home an abode of peace, a place of protection from the winds of the world,
a castle for her love, and a shrine to womanliness."

The book contains 12 different "magic patterns", original projects from the early 1900's. Patterns include several different apron styles, a cape, purses, several different styles of loungewear and nightwear and more.

I love the vintage fashion illustrations scattered throughout the book! The book is divided into monthly sections and each section contains seasonally appropriate fashion, beauty tips, recipes and more.

Amy Barickman, the author of Vintage Notions is also the owner and founder of Indigo Junction Patterns...go check them out...Thursday we will be hosting a review of one of her purse patterns...and a giveaway! See you then!