Friday, 6 April 2018

Library Bag with Monogram

One of my favourite things to do with my girls in the school holidays is to make frequent trips to the library.  This year I decided to make them each a special library bag (so I'm not lugging all the books!).  To be honest, I am SO thrilled that I can now do embroidery (monogram EVERYTHING!) with the Designer Jade 35 that I am looking for things to embroider! 
The construction of the bag is really simple.  This bag is based on the larger sized picture books my girls like to borrow from the library, but you can size yours to meet your needs!

Head over to Husqvarna Viking Australia's blog to get the details on how to make this bag!

Because I am SO in love with the embroidery features of the Designer Jade 35 I added a personalized embroidery for each of my daughters. 

We had so much fun sitting at the computer together, looking at all the designs and fonts they could choose from (free software that comes with the Designer Jade 35).  You simply save your design to the included USB and then plug it into the machine (SO easy!).

Being girly girls they both wanted heart designs!  They then selected their own thread colours for the embroidery. 

I really love involving my girls in the creative process and it makes them love what I make even more because they have contributed.  I wish I had filmed the excitement of them watching the Designer Jade 35 create their selected embroidery & the shrieks of delight as "their" design came together (seriously, who needs TV?!!) 

A little tip for my fellow newbies to machine embroidery: embroider the bag before you sew it together!  You may roll your eyes and give me a big "well duh!"...but hey, I'm just learning!  And having SO much fun in the process!

Happy Sewing!
xox Allison

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Adding a side seam pocket & my first sew with the Designer Jade 35 by Husqvarna Viking


I am so excited to be a guest blogger over at Husqvarna Viking Australia!

With all the amazing embroidery and other capabilities of the Designer Jade 35, the first thing I do is an alteration (I guess that's just me!!).  But in my defence, it is my favourite skirt!!  You can read about how I added a nice big (holds your phone!!) side seam pocket over at Husqvarna Viking. 

For my first sewing experience with the Designer Jade 35 I am absolutely thrilled with how it sews and its great built in features.  You can read about the awesome overcast stitch this machine does (because my cranky old overlocker is stubbornly refusing to work...it is NOT a Husqvarna Viking machine!) in my post here.  I can't forget to mention the perfect "fix" stitch it does at the start and end of your seam or the automatic thread cutter! 

I have previously sewn on a vintage machine which had none of these features, so they are all just so amazing to me and make for an even more enjoyable sewing experience!

If you follow me on IG you will know I have been playing with the machine embroidery features a LOT!  My next post will feature my first adventures into machine embroidery.  Those of you who are experienced with machine embroidery will probably roll your eyes and shake your head...but I am just learning and having SO MUCH FUN in the process!

Happy Sewing!
xox Allison

Friday, 26 January 2018

If at first you don't succeed...

As a sewing blogger, or as a sewist in general, we love to show off the makes we are proud of.  The pieces where we have done our best work.
But the reality of sewing is that not everything works out. Sometimes it simply does not work out, or you are not happy with it.
Do you have an area of sewing that is currently just beyond your reach?
For me it is bag making.
I can make a lovely tote bag until the cows come home. However, when I attempt a handbag it just doesn't work out. My first attempt was so bad I didn't even photograph it! The fact that I tried to self draft it based on an existing bag probably had a LOT to do with the fail!
My next attempt was better (top right photo below). I used a free pattern by Blue Calla (see here). However, I didn't have any hardware on hand so just didn't use any. This resulted in a really "homemade" looking bag, but not in a good way. I used this bag for a little while, but don't love it.
I have just finished another bag (bottom right photo below), also a free pattern by Blue Calla (see here). I used hardware salvaged from a worn out bag. Yes, it is better than the last one but I'm still not thrilled with it. I used suede scraps & leftover fabric from my previous bag making attempt. The pattern is great, it's my execution I'm not happy with.
My garment sewing has precision & is as nice on the inside as it is outside. Why is my bag making a hot mess??? Argh! It's frustrating!
Currently, I have so little confidence in my skill that I refuse to buy a pattern. Why spend money on something I'm going to mess up?? But this defeatist attitude is not going to get me anywhere!
I'm considering trying the Necessary Clutch Wallet by Emmaline Bags.  I've seen so many beautiful versions on insta, I especially love those made in cork fabric. Or the Magnolia Mini Messenger by Blue Calla, also a chance to experiment with cork fabric!
I certainly do NOT need another bag or wallet. I just want to conquer this aspect of sewing that seems to ellude me!
Of course, I should stop comparing my attempts to the high quality professional leather bags I have. Lets be honest, I have neither the skill or equipment to come close to my Carbotti or Coach handbags!
Big sigh...I will just keep ploding along and hope for something functional that isn't a hot mess!
Is there an area of sewing that you want to improve in? Or perhaps you want to start sewing, but think you will mess it up (contact me, I can recommend fool proof patterns for beginners!)
Happy Sewing! Wish me luck!!

Xox Allison
On the left is how I want my bags to look, on the right are what I have so far.
Granted, I have neither the tools or skill to make a Chanel bag...