Since we hardly ever ate at the table anyhow, I get to use our dining room space (which flows right into our living room--"open" floorplan style) for my craft area. The down side is that I have to keep the space reasonably tidy-a real challenge for me. Recently I tackled making it more organized
My desk is actually a counter/bar height dining room table. We had it made to my specs at Naked Furniture; I had looked at a bunch of prefab options, but I wanted solid wood. Something I'd be able to sand down and refinish if I need to in ten years. The bonus is that if we decide it doesn't work for my crafting anymore, we can buy chairs and make it a dining room table again.
I annotated this pic to show where everything goes. The four matching baskets came in a set with a laundry hamper. They came already lined with canvas, so they're perfect for organizing my scraps and supplies. The lamp was a Christmas present that I'd had on my Amazon wish list for awhile.
I'm lucky to have a window seat next to my craft table; it's a good place for the sewing basket to hang out, but it also tends to collect junk.
In this pic, you can see that I covered the table with an old quilt--I got the quilt on eBay, and when it came I realized it was one of the cheap type that were common at department stores, so I don't feel bad using it as a table cloth. I store my sewing machine down below the window seat when I'm not using it and just lift it to the table when I need it, and the vintage wood sewing basket goes into the bedroom closet when company comes.
Now that I have everything organized, we're planning to move next month Oh well, so it goes.
I promised Mom a purse back in the fall, and I'm finally done! I made two, and I'm pretty proud of them, actually, as I tried a few new techniques, and my skills are improving. They're my own designs--I spend a few days drawing out my ideas, thinking through the construction techniques I'm going to use, and measuring purses I like. Then I draw my pieces out on tracing paper, double check the size, and go from there.
I welcome constructive criticism :-D
The first one is basically a large pouch to hold clothes or shoes when she goes to work out, or just the general stuff that a Mom tends to accumulate. The front has a pleat or tuck to add a little extra volume, and it has side gussets that also form the bottom.
The strap is removable so that I can make her more bags and she can just swap the straps however she wants. I really like the effect of the v-shape and the pleat.
The second one has nice wide bamboo handles and a circular cut out so she can carry it over her shoulder if she wants. It has a central zippered section to keep her wallet and cellphone secure, and pockets front and back for receipts and things.
I also made one for myself, following the same basic idea as Mom's, but with curved sides and bottom and leather handles. I really like the way it looks, but am not totally happy with the handles when I'm using the purse-they're a bit stiff and in the way when I'm trying to get things out of the zippered section. Further design iterations are in order!
We just got Wall-E on bluray a couple of weeks ago, and we've been watching it at least once a week since, so that seemed a natural theme for this year's pumpkins:
It's hard to tell from the pick, but I used a fruit zester to remove a little pumpkin rind for the treads on Wall-E. The Eve pumpkin started to wilt a bit after only one day--there's not much support for the neck-shadow bit....I propped it with toothpicks.
Last year we were on a Simpsons kick, so I did Itchy and Scratchy:
My mother picked out some pretty fall fabric and a shoulder strap, and requested a new bag, bigger than the last one. I think I went overboard with the "bigger" request, it's honestly a bit too big.
What doesn't show on this picture is that the front has a series of pleats that hide a zippered pocket. There's also a nice deep pocket on the back side too.
I've sent her a picture to see what she thinks of the size; if she likes it, the second version will have a lot sturdier interfacing to help it keep the shape, inside pockets, and maybe a zippered top. And at least now I have a nice fall "carry everything" purse for myself.
I found two beautiful cast iron shelf supports at a junk store last weekend, and I'm dying to use them, but they're pretty rusty and nasty. They're intricate and detailed, so there's tons of potential, but I'm concerned about scratching them up if I try sandpaper.
I've googled for restoration options, but everything I found is geared towards cookware.
I want to clean the rust off, then somehow seal these so they don't rust up again. Either with black paint, or something clear. Any suggestions? This is my first try at this kind of project...I'm much more comfortable with fabric!
I want to make one of those carry cases with a zipper that goes around three sides (to keep my collection of flash drives safe and organized), but I've never done a zipper that turns corners. Has anyone seen a pattern or a tutorial that covers that? My google-fu has apparently deserted me.
I think this is my best one yet...I couldn't even wait to take pictures before I put all my things in it. Some of the ladies I work with went into raves over it and asked if I plan to have a booth at the craft fair, so maybe I'm in business At the rate I'm going, I need to start selling them before they take over my house.
This purse pattern uses a half yard of the fashion print, with enough for a little makeup bag left over. For this one, I put a hidden zipper pocket on the back outside, and a kicky little bow in front. The inside has pockets for my receipts and library card.
The second picture looks a little weird because of the handle, but I dropped it off the hanger so that the top zipper will show. Any feedback is appreciated; I want to keep improving.
I used some store bought handles to make my latest purse, and I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, but I did a few things backwards that'll change the next time. Luckily, although my mistakes made construction a pain, you can't tell by looking
The fabric is something I've had in my stash for ages waiting for the right project. I have two more 1/2 yard cuts of different fabrics waiting to be made into one of these. I'll have a purse for every outfit by the end of summer if I keep this up
This is the first purse that I've made that I'm truly happy with...probably because I went so slowly to make everything perfect for Mom. Must remember that in the future...
Anyhow, I wanted to share pictures:
Please forgive the messy desk in the background...I was too excited to take pictures to clean up.
The blue is actually darker in real life. Mom loves blue, and dragonflies, so I've had this fabric forever waiting for the right project to use it on. There's more left, so she'll also be getting a couple of zipper pouches to go inside the purse. This purse has a pocket in the front for storing little not so important things, then a zipper top and a roomy, lined interior. The next one I make will have pockets inside, too, I think.
any comments or criticism welcome; I love making purses and I want to get better.
I posted about this over on LJ Knitting, but I'm really trying to get the word out, so I hope you'll forgive me if you've seen this twice.
I've been working hard to create an online database that has details of patterns, both online and off. It has links to where you can find the pattern (the website it's posted on, say, or a place to buy it, or the book it's in) and information about the yarn used, techniques and construction methods, etc. For things like sweaters, you can look for short sleeved cardigans with round necklines that use intarsia. You can specify that it be online in a webzine, or "offline" in a book.
I came up with the idea to do this based on the types of questions I see here (I lurk a LOT lol) and other places. The basic functionality is there now, and i have big plans for the future (see my news page), but I'd love to have people submit patterns that they like, and links they find useful. And of course, independent designers are strongly encouraged to add their patterns so that we can find them! Hopefully as the database grows it'll benefit both people looking for patterns and designers trying to get their names and books out there.