Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Hits and Misses

Everyone is doing their hits and misses of 2013 and, even though I lost some of my sewing mojo, I wanted to join in! I think credit for this year-end-round-up-thing belongs here.


1. Cooper bag - You guys, I won my sewalong category! I am so excited! Plus I love this bag to bits. Unfortunately, it's currently in rehab due to insane fraying of the strap webbing, but it will be back out in action soon!

2. Simplicity 2207 skirt and bustle - I've only won this once (it is a costume), but I was proud of it none-the-less.


1. Not sewing! The biggest miss by far was this summer, where moving was followed by a complete loss of sewing mojo. So many projects that have been pushed back.

2. Sassy Librarian Blouse - This one had major fit issues that I didn't bother fixing. That's what happens when you take 6 months to make one shirt.

3. Sorbetto - I love this top so much, but the gaping neckline bothers me. I have a plan to fix it, but just haven't gotten to it, especially now that it's winter.

In 2014, I'm tackling knits and a coat! And some more costumes!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Thank you!

I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to any and all of you who voted for me in the Colette Cooper Sewalong. I am SO honoured to have had my bag chosen as favourite backpack. There was some TOUGH competition and I had such a hard time choosing my favourites in each category. I think all the bags features could have been winners.

Oh, and Merry Christmas! If Christmas is not your thing, then please translate my good wishes to a holiday of your choice. If you don't have a holiday, then hopefully you got a wonderful day or or are enjoying the stat holiday pay like me! Yep, I'm working a 12 hour shift today. Best wishes everyone and thanks again!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Cooper Sewing Contest

Hi everyone. I just wanted to let you know that the Colette Cooper Sewing Contest voting has started. I'm going to very shamelessly ask for you to vote for me (but only if you actually like my Cooper). I'm entry #9 under the Backpacks category. There are so many gorgeous bags, it was really hard to choose which ones to vote for. But I'd really appreciate any votes I can get. Thanks and good luck to all the other contestants!

Rock the Vote!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Stripe-y Cooper

So I've finally joined the rest of the sewing blogosphere in being a Colette fangirl. Cooper and Albion were my first ever purchases from Colette (I've since also bought Beignet). I haven't had time for Albion yet, but I did manage to make a Cooper during the Speedy Sewalong. And I love it!

First, fabric choices! The sample bags on Colette's website are definitely masculine, with their rugged waxed canvas (which I love). Also, if I was comfortable using leather, that would look amazing. But I wanted to make a backpack for me and I do love me some brights. So I knew I wanted to use this red and white striped canvas from my stash. The pattern uses a main and a contrast fabric. None of the other fabric in my stash went well and it was snowy and I didn't want to drive to the fabric store (so lazy). Then I had the idea to use the same fabric from main and contrast and just switch the direction of the stripes by cutting the contrast pieces on the crossgrain.

I love how the stripes turned out! It's so stripe-y! It actually totally reminds me of the early albums from the White Stripes, one of my favourite bands. There was some minor stripe matching required at the sides and on the long skinny pieces on the front, but that turned out to be easy peasey.

Can I just say I love canvas? It was so easy to work with! It just stays exactly where you tell it to be and does everything you want. There were a few issues with bulk when sewing through six layers of canvas, but overall, it was really awesome to work with. Not-so-much with the lining.

For the lining I used periwinkle wickaway ribbed nylon ripstop. The good? I love the colour. It;s really pretty and I love the surprising pop of contrasting colour. I don't know if this bag could have handled more red or white or stripes on the inside. Other than the colour, this fabric got on my nerves. It wouldn't press AT ALL and it wanted to bunch and catch whenever it could. Plus it probably felt worse after the joys of sewing with canvas. Either way, I got it done and I love the end product.

I really debated making the straps out of the same fabric. But in the interests of time and my bf's discretion, I went with simple white webbing. I think it turned out nice, although I'm still wondering "what if".

I actually made a couple of minor mistakes on this one. The first is that I forgot to test my markings on the lining fabric and they didn't erase very well. I'm hoping they will rub off over time and either way, it's on the inside, where no one buy me (and now you) will know. Another minor lining issue is that I ran out of my thread for the lining when I was attaching the second pocket. And I was in a hurry and didn't want to make a trip to the store, so I just grabbed the next closest colour and kept going. Then I changed my mind on what colour was closest and switched again. So I have three colours of topstitching on the lining. Oh well.

The other minor mistake I didn't even notice until I was looking at the other Cooper versions in the Colette Flickr group. I installed my rivets in the wrong spot! I guess I had the pattern piece upside down when I marked where the rivets should go. So my rivets are near where the flap attaches to the back, rather than near the edge of the flap. This one doesn't bother me at all because I actually like them where they are and I can always add more rivets later if I charge my mind.

So overall, I love my Cooper backpack and definitely have plans to make a couple of the bicycle panniers for my Schwinn, despite the ridiculous about of top-stitching involved. Who knows, maybe the messenger bag as well. But I really liked this pattern. And no fitting! Yay!

Pattern: Cooper by Colette Patterns
Fabric: Main/Contrast: Red/white stripe canvas from Ikea ($2/m!)
              Lining: Periwinkle ribbed wickaway nylon ripstop from Fabricline
Notions: Cooper hardware kit from Gifts for Crafters
               White 1.5" cotton webbing

Photo bomb cat


Another cat photo bomb

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Golden Snitch Christmas Ornament

So this one isn't a sewing project, but it was crafty, so I thought I'd share it here anyway. This is the first of three nerdy ornaments I plan to make before Christmas. The 2nd is underway, but having technical difficulties.

Anyway, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, so when I came across this tutorial, I knew I had to give it a shot! And I think it turned out pretty good! A bit glue-y, but you don't notice when it's on the tree.

I made a few small changes to the tutorial, but followed the general idea. I made my wings a bit of a different shape. My Christmas ball also came pre-decorated with the gold glitter. I also splurged and bought sparkly gold tissue paper, then decorated it with swirls of glitter glue.

The only major change I made was how to attach the wings. The tutorial cites this as troublesome and used so fancy glue (Farbi-Tac). Instead of going out to buy that, I had the idea to attach the wings with wire. So basically I made a little loop of wire around the neck of the ball, then twisted it into each wing. One wing was a bit droopy, so I secured it with some more hot glue.

And that's it! It's a relatively quick project. the longest part was definitely letting the glitter glue designs on the wings dry. Especially because they had to be done one side at a time. But I really love the end result and I have enough materials left to make one more, so I might do that as a gift.

 What do you think? Any other Harry Potter fans that have or want to try this? Be sure to check out the original tutorial from Tiny Apartment Crafts!