Friday, April 29, 2011

the panda sews: linen tote bag w/ appliques

class was canceled AGAIN last saturday, so i've been doing quite a bit of home sewing over the past few weeks. i made a few aprons and have toyed with the idea of opening up an etsy shop. in my "ideal fantasy" world, this would give me some extra funds i could use toward fabric-buying (wait, i guess in my ideal fantasy, i'd already have enough money to buy tons and tons of fabric...and i'd live on a beach.)  but it's still an idea at this point - i'd like to get a bit of an inventory built up- so stay tuned for updates. i guess i want to make sure i'm 100% satisfied with my product. 

i wanted to work on something else yesterday, and this tutorial really caught my eye (linen! little raindrops!) plus it would give me a chance to learn a few new things (sewing with linen & making appliques).

  • this is one of the best tutorials i've ever seen online - helpful pictures, easy-to-follow directions, etc.
  • seriously, be patient sewing the appliques, esp. the tiny raindrops. i used the hand-crank (she offers this advice in a different tutorial: When sewing around smaller, tighter curves or circles: I sew these in a very slow and methodical way, sometimes just a stitch or two at a time if necessary. I’ll sew one or two stitches, then, with the needle in the down position, lift up the presser foot, turn the fabric slightly, then put the presser foot back down and go another stitch or two. Sometimes I’ll even just use the hand wheel on the side of the machine to move the needle to avoid accidentally shooting ahead a few stitches with the foot pedal. I’ll repeat this process typically for just the tightest part of the curve, and get back to a normal speed whenever I can. 
  • full disclosure: the brown cloud is actually covering up my first botched applique attempt. same with the lightest-colored raindrop.  i was able to create slightly bigger versions and go over my 'mistakes'.  i tried hand-sewing them too, but it looked too sloppy.
  • i love the look of natural-colored linen, but it sure is wrinkly.
  • i can't hear the word "applique" without thinking of this song.  "designer jeans with appliques on it"  

edit: i added a trim to the top. here's what it looks like now:


The Blonde Mule said...

Etsy shop = yes!

Carolyn said...

Good work!! I'm going to check out that tutorial!

Mommy en France said...

So cute! And thanks for having visited my giveaway today.