Monthly Archives: November 2009


A couple of quick studies of a chrysanthemum I filched from the huge plant poking through someone’s fence.

Just cause it’s pretty.

The Prototype

This morning I woke up thinking; “wallet.”

Actually, I had several other thoughts first, like “why am I fully awake at 6:22 on Sunday morning?” and “I wish that cat would bugger off”, but the wallet thing came soon afterwards.

The particular type of wallet I had in mind is the classic long, flat sort with a few card slots, bill pockets and a change section. I pictured this old kimono fabric that’s been lurking in my stash for a few years, and a particular layout, though as usual the actual construction process was a little hazy.

But naturally I dove in anyways, figuring out the details as I went. And all in all, the result isn’t too far off my goal, with one major exception. Way too much interfacing. The final seam ended up so thick I couldn’t even get my presser foot onto it and had to finish it off with the big machine (nice to have the option, but not really what I was going for). Now I’m not entirely sure how to deal with this, as I feel like the materials do need the reinforcing, but I suppose I’ll just have to figure it out.

Of course I’ll use it anyways (this is why so many of my own hand made things are somewhat imperfect), out of sheer bloody-mindedness if nothing else, but I’m only posting pictures that don’t quite show how awkward it turned out.
Wallet the firstWallet the first

So, yeah. Not quite a disaster, but it definitely needs some revising.

From Brain to Blog in 48 hours or Less.

So lately I’ve been feeling in a bit of a slump, creatively speaking.

I seem to get like this every year at about this time; I spend a lot of time wondering if I’m doing the right thing and what else can I do that’s creative and productive and all that kind of thing.

So this week I got really into some personal sewing. First it was just a couple of pot holders that have been desperately needed for ages and there’s really no excuse for not just sitting down and tossing them off. Then I made a new apron because I only have one and it’s kind of stained and as my belly gets bigger I find it necessary to wear an apron whenever I prepare food or eat anything, so it’s nice to have a new one. (No pictures, sorry, but it is just an apron…)

Then I got fed up with all my purses/handbags being made of Cordura and plastic and decided it was time to make myself a couple of real, grown up type purses. The night before last I sat down and sketched out a couple of ideas:
Purse Sketches
then had a look through my stash to see if I had enough of the materials I had in mind, and drafted up the first pattern.
Yesterday I made the first one, which looks like this:
Brown Purse 1Brown Purse 2
and like this:
Brown Purse 3Brown Purse 5

It’s nice and soft, but got just enough structure with interfacing and leather that I think it’ll hold its shape pretty well. I only came up with the strap at the end, after having several different handle/strap ideas in mind. It came down to not having any hardware laying about that was appropriate, but I really like how it turned out.

Last night I drafted up Purse #2, and put it together today. I didn’t really know how I was going to order the construction while I was doing it, so I ended up having to redo several seams more than once, and there are still a few corners I won’t be showing anybody close up, but on the whole I’m very happy that it turned out almost exactly as I pictured it in my mind.
Here it is:
Black Purse 1Black Purse 3
(I swear, half the fun was styling the dress form… do I really have outfits this coordinated? And when will I get to wear them again?)
And up close:
Black Purse 4Black Purse 5Black Purse 6

I’ve always resisted the idea of selling purses on the grounds that too many people make them therefore there’s too much competition (which I don’t like), but women do seem to be crazy about purses, and willing to spend beaucoup dollars on them, and feel like one or two just isn’t enough. (While the messenger bag crowd can be somewhat enthusiastic, they’re a little lacking in the second two sentiments).

So I dunno, maybe it’s time to think seriously about it. I mean, I’ve got experience making bag-type things so it’s not a total leap off a bridge, and I can still use my lovely super heavy duty monster sewing machine (I do adore the way it just punches through 6 layers of leather like they’re a swiss cheese sandwich…). It would mean getting to play with pretty fabrics and metal hardware, not just nylon and plastic, but without the ghastly scene that is the garment industry.

Hmmm… We’re going to be in the 401 Richmond Holiday Marketplace in December; I think I’ll try making a few simple handbags and clutches for that and see how they go over. At the very least I’ll have some fun doing something a little different, and I can always gift them if they don’t sell.

The Days

The days, they are a-slippin’ by.

One, two, three…11 since I wrote last? Shameful, really.

And days filled with what, you may ask?

Um, let’s see. A bit of work, but not much, in the grand scheme. Not nearly enough, actually, but that’s a whine for another day.

Speaking of wine, I’d love to have a glass right about now. Sigh. Only 19 more weeks. Then I’ll probably be too tired to remember to drink. Again; sigh.

But definite development on the nesting front. Got the apartment all rearranged last weekend (composite pics to follow) and promptly came down with a cold. Not a bad cold, but that primarily because I spent the week doing pretty much squat, in order to spend all my energy fighting off the little virus beasties so that I can go get my H1N1 shot next week while a full strength.

Anyways, as promised, pictures of the revised layout. Not good pictures (I kept changing positions and angles) but enough to give the idea of how it is now.
Main floor
Office 1

It all feels so nice and tidy and coordinated, what with the matching curtains and all. Downright pleasant, I say.

I was expecting the resident felines to be a bit disconcerted, but they seemed to take it all in stride. Although they have been exceptionally clingy this week… but then, they do have brains the size of walnuts, so there’s no real accounting for their behaviour when it comes down to it.
warm bum
(NO, of COURSE the element isn’t on. Sheesh.)