Crazy for Sewing

I’m so thoroughly enjoying my latest sewing projects. It has been a very busy week-and-a-half and I was ready to catch up on some sewing this weekend. Today also happens to be my birthday and my dear husband gave me the day off, which I spent sewing up a new project I’ve been dying to try.

Before I get to my recent batch of projects, a little while ago I made another Essential Wristlet from Dog Under My Desk (the first one I made was for my daughter). I loved this Chinese lantern fabric, and I paired it up with a yellow and red small print fabric.

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I’ve been using it for my chequebook and some small knitting supplies (stitch markers, cable needles; the knitting itself I carry in my drawstring bag but the little items get lost in there).

While I was busy with back-to-back work assignments, I took mental breaks by browsing around the Dog Under My Desk site thinking about which projects I wanted to try next (I’m a bit obsessed with her stuff right now). Aside from the amazing full patterns she sells, she has a number of tutorials on her site. This one, for the Neat and Tidy zippered pouches, caught my eye because she had mentioned that she uses them for small items in her purse, which not only makes them easier to find but allows her to switch purses much more easily. I thought this was an excellent idea.

See, I  carry around a large, sturdy woven basket as a purse. It looks kind of like this one:

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I love it, especially because it stands up when I put it down and it holds a lot. I can fit in my knitting, a book, snacks for the kids, wet wipes, and water bottles. But smaller things tend to get lost in there. Plus, sometimes I don’t need to bring all that stuff with me, and it would be handy if I could easily switch to a smaller bag when needed. Speaking of which, it would be nice to have a smaller bag!

So when I finally got some sewing time, I made this zippered pouch, which I am now using to carry my lip balms (I have some Burts Bees lip shimmers in different shades and my go-to vanilla mint lip balm). It measures 4″ x 6″. I’m dying to make more of these – one for my headphones, another for cards I don’t use often, etc.

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Then I decided to try making a messenger bag. I intended to make one for Miss Em but I thought I’d try one for myself first using some fabric I already had. The pattern was a freebie from No Time to Sew (rumour has it that Dog Under My Desk is working on a messenger bag pattern – stay tuned!). It worked out fine – and I was especially proud of all the pockets – but when I tried to use the bag I found that it didn’t work very well for me. It’s too floppy (my local fabric store doesn’t carry any name brand interfacing so I’m left to guess what will work best) and the flap just seemed to get in my way.

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After that I made another drawstring bag. I’m loving the one I already have, and have wished a few times that I had more. The first one was about 7″ W x 10″ T. This one was 9″ W x 12″ T. I have more of these planned – they’re proving to be very handy.

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Finally, for my birthday sewing project today I made the Zip And Go bag from Dog Under My Desk. When I run into a store, like the bagel shop or the grocery store, I really just need my wallet and phone. This is the perfect bag for that. I can carry it around in my basket, then pop my wallet and phone in it, put it over my shoulder, and enjoy some hands-free shopping. (The need for such a thing became particularly apparent to me over Christmas when I unknowingly dropped my wallet, which I was carrying under my arm as I juggled some bagels, and left it in the parking lot. Thankfully, a good samaritan found it and brought it to the police station where I later picked it up with great relief and gratitude).

I’m really happy with how it turned out. Once again, Erin outdid herself with an excellent pattern that was easy to follow and very fun to make. I feel very accomplished being able to churn out such pretty and practical things with my sewing machine! It holds my wallet and phone perfectly, and I actually can’t wait to go grocery shopping tomorrow!

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Now that I’ve discovered I don’t really like the flap-style messenger bag for a purse (I think Miss Em will, though), I’m more convinced than ever to make the Daytripper bag. I think the gusseted zipper is just what I need in a bag.

First, however, I have purchased the Bigger on the Inside drawstring backpack pattern to make a bag for each of the kids. When we go out the kids often have a bunch of things they want to bring into the car – iPads, 3DS games, chargers, etc. – and I end up giving them my cloth grocery bags. They aren’t built to be carried around easily and they end up elsewhere when I get to the grocery store. I thought it would be nice to give them each a bag. The local fabric store had a huge sale last weekend and I picked up some great fabric. Stay tuned for pictures!

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