Friday, 31 May 2013

Boat Tote

Earlier this week I made a tote bag, using Alicia Paulson's "Jane market bag" pattern. I just love this tote bag! I made one a few years ago from this same pattern and had a lot of fun making it. Here's a picture of the first one. In her instructions she doesn't mention using interfacing to give your bag more structure (at least in the version that I have, which is from 2009 she doesn't mention interfacing). I was expecting my first tote bag to have a bit more structure, and was a little disappointed when it was so flimsy, but as a beginner sewer I didn't think to use interfacing with the lightweight fabrics I had chosen. I've made a few other simple tote bags since and have learned to use interfacing so bags don't look like a limp spaghetti noodle when empty. But, it is a pattern for a market bag after all, which are typically lightweight, simple bags you can wad up easily to carry in your purse or another bag to take with you to go to the market. But for the tote I had in mind, I wanted it to be able to stand alone fairly well. I wanted to make a beach sort of tote and was happy to use some charming liberty fabric that I've had lying around for a while now. I only had a small piece of this harbor sort of scene and haven't been sure what to use it for and I thought a beach-y tote would be perfect (we're headed to the beach in July, can't wait!).

Friday, 17 May 2013

Stitching Up

As usual I have a pile of projects in progress and even more ideas for things I want to make. But there's only so much time! Here are a few things I've made recently, well, within the last two months I guess. I wonder now if I've already posted some of these? Mommy brain. Not sure. Oh well! Most recently I've made a few make-up bags. It's my first experience inserting a zipper, which is fun and a tiny bit challenging. I'm doing it the traditional way where you sew up the seam and then unpick it. I found a few videos of shortcuts, where you just sew each side of the zip on but I figured I'd do it the way the sewing bible says to. I used Liberty fabric for the outside and some waxy, thick Lisa Stickley fabric for the lining. I love this Liberty fabric! It's HOT pink and I love the print. I used the same fabric for Ellie's birth announcement. I made this make-up bag for a friend and another one for myself (but out of a different outer fabric).

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

And speaking of ice cream... it's finally warm enough to eat it outside without freezing. This weekend for a bank holiday BBQ we went to we made ice cream sandwiches. Yum! I'm not a huge fan of the store bought ice cream sandwiches mainly because I don't really like the ice cream in them. I'm a bit of a vanilla ice cream snob and really only like sort of expensive brands like Haagen Dazs, which is my favorite vanilla. But homemade ice cream sandwiches seemed fun to make and, well, you can pick your ice cream, so that's what we did. I followed this recipe here. The pretty photos made me choose it over a few others I read, but there are plenty online. Speaking of pretty photos, I learned in food styling and photography class not to take photos at an angle like the one above (or usually not to), because then it looks like your food is sliding off the table, but that's one of the better photos I took so I decided to post it anyway! Do you have any thoughts on this matter in food photography?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

I Scream for Ice Cream!

I love dresses. They are probably my favorite type of clothing. Every year in spring I look forward to finding one special summer dress, and I've found this year's dress! I first read about There's Only One Amy Laws in a recent issue of Pretty Nostalgic (which is a wonderful magazine, by the way). There's a nice feature showing one of her silkscreen printed umbrella dresses. I really liked the dress but what made me go to her web site was the name of her company. How great is that name? I wondered if it meant there's only one of each item she makes, or if it simply meant she's an original. In any case, the name of her company is fantastic and it made me head over to her web site. As soon as I saw her ice cream dress I knew it would be my summer dress pick for this year. I LOVE it. It's handmade, the perfect simple shape, navy with polka dots on top, and a sweet candy pink on the bottom with ice cream cones. I love that the ice cream cones are hand printed onto the fabric and that you won't find this in every Topshop on the block. It fits perfectly and is very well made. I think her prices for handmade are very reasonable as well. So much work goes into one article of clothing! Having made (just) one dress so far, I really admire anyone who makes handmade clothing. (You can see my one dress at the bottom of this post. I'm very proud of it!) Some people like to keep great things to themselves, fashion being one of them. But not me. I'm happy to share. After all, ice cream is best when it's shared. Though I'm partial to the ice cream print, Amy also has a lot of other wonderful prints and clothes for little ones too. I might have to order two mini scoop dresses for Lois and Ellie. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Paris in Spring is a Glorious Thing!

Is that a song, or a poem? If not, I think it should be! Actually Paris is great anytime of year, especially to me perhaps in spring and winter. I haven't thought most places are a favorite in winter, and winter is not my favorite season in general (fall is), but Paris has a sleepy romance in winter that is wonderful in its own way.