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101  Seatbelt purse - copycat of the ORIGINAL HARVEY'S PURSE in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by christephi on: March 04, 2008 10:09:58 AM

A friend of mine has one of those $150 seatbelt purses from Harvey's. The last time I saw her, I took a good look at it and said to myself, "Humph, I can make one of these!" So I found some used seatbelt webbing on ebay for about $7. It's been sitting around for a few months waiting to be transformed...

My brother's birthday was last week and after I shipped out his birthday present, I suddenly realized my mom's birthday was only a week away. Don't know why it escaped my notice before, but I realized I only had a few days to think of and make a gift for her! It took me several days to hit on a good idea. She's not really a purse person. She just has this one denim messenger bag she uses for *everything*.  So I thought I'd make her another large bag that is a little dressier for when she wants to avoid the denim/casual look.

Using what I remember of my friend's genuine Harvey's seatbelt purse (and some refresher glances at online photos of Harvey's purses), I formed mine around a narrow cardboard box. It's about 12" high x 11" wide. I couldn't figure out how Harvey's attaches the straps, so I did it my own way.

My sewing machine didn't mind the webbing too much as far as getting the needle through, but I think there's something wrong with it because no matter what I did the bobbin thread was getting all tangled and knotted on the bottom.  In fact, if you look closely at the pictures, you can see that some of the seams are horribly ugly...at least the top-stitching looks okay!  The handles are 24" each and there's a zipper pocket inside.

I used staples to hold the woven pieces in place until they were sewn into the top binding which is also what the top zipper is attached to.

I was pretty upset with the way the stitching turned out, but otherwise I like the bag very much.  Almost enough to keep it for myself.  Hehe...good thing it's already packed up and ready to go out in today's mail!

Comments and criticisms welcome!
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102  Dolly bed w/ monkey applique and quilt in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by christephi on: March 02, 2008 02:25:18 PM
Dorothy Babydoll is one of my daughter's favorite toys, and I decided that dolly needed a bed...

I spent all week drafting, cutting, and finally sewing this. (Mostly during her naptime each day).

I'm especially pleased with the applique monkey. It's the first applique I've done that has multiple pieces.

The bed has a removable cushion

Here's the matching quilt so dolly stays warm.

And dolly all snug in her new bed!

I wouldn't have chosen the green thread if I'd had any pink thread, but it was either that or white and white just seemed too boring. But I probably should have put white on the bobbin when I was quilting...the green looks pretty strange on the plain pink back to the quilt. But it was the first machine quilting I have ever done. Whenever I made quilts in the past, I just tacked them together by hand every few squares.
The plain green and green stripes came from a down comforter that I dismantled (there were feathers EVERYWHERE!) It was given to me and I didn't need/want it. The plain pink was from a crib sheet that was also given to me, but we don't have a full-size crib, so I didn't need that either. The rest was scraps I inherited from an old roommate or my mom or something years ago. I used some really stiff iron-on adhesive in the sides and bottom of the bed.  (It tried to kill my sewing machine! The adhesive kept collecting on the needle and causing my bobbin thread to tangle up. I could have screamed!)

How do you like it?
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103  My first ever vegetable garden -- Ooo, I'm so nervous! in Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects by christephi on: February 27, 2008 12:40:00 PM
So I have this teensy, tinsey little "backyard" behind my one-bedroom apartment. It's a weird trapezoidal shape, but I decided there's enough room for a little vegetable garden.  We always had a vegetable garden when I was a kid growing up, but this is the first one I ever planted.  I have no idea if I did it right, though I tried to follow the tips on the back of the seed packets.

Yellow is sweet corn
Green is spinach
Blue is peas, but the seeds are dated 2006 (they came in a toy gardening kit I got my DD), so I don't have much hope for them
Red is cilantro/corriander
And I still have space to set out a tomato plant and a pepper plant once I get them started.

It was 80 degrees F here yesterday and looking like it'll be the same today. I'm in Southern California, so there's never really any threat of frost.

Oooo! I hope it turns out!  Roll Eyes
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104  Help! Disney babies wallpaper boarder in What the heck can I do with THIS? by christephi on: February 23, 2008 02:03:23 PM
Someone gave me this and I have no idea what to do with it.  I'd hate to throw it away and I don't know anyone else to hoist it off onto.

I live in an apartment, so can't use it on the walls.

Help! Your suggestions? Ideas?? Anything???

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105  Alligator pajama set in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by christephi on: February 23, 2008 11:36:06 AM

I made this pajama set for my nephew who is turning 1 this month. The fabric was given to me -- two coordinating in fleece and one in twill.

The pajamas:

The pajama bag:

I used the back side of the fleece for the Z.

The stuffed critter, "Sleepy Al the Alligator":

I figured since there are alligators on the fabric, why not make an alligator critter to go with it.

Close-up of Sleepy Al:
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106  Woven denim purse **now with TUTORIAL** in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by christephi on: February 22, 2008 08:44:22 PM
Inspired by those seatbelt purses that are so popular, but far less expensive.  I made it from some jeans that tore out at the knees.

I lined it with a scrap of sunny yellow calico I had left over from some forgotten project of long ago.

It's the perfect size for my dayplanner. I think it needs a snap in the middle though.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions?

I'd love your input!  Cheesy


-- Find a box or a book the size you want the purse to be. I used a Harry Potter book for my first one, but the MIL wanted hers bigger, so I used Yahtzee for this one.
-- Measure the width of the box and calculate how many strips you need and how wide you want the strips to be. Mine is four 2.5 inch strips wide and three 2.5 inch strips high. So I cut strips of denim from 3 pairs of old jeans 6 inches wide by as long as I could get them.
-- Sew the pieces together so they're one long strip... (Mine was 8 yards long by 6 inches wide).

-- Measure around the box and cut as many strips as you need. (I used 3 strips, 26 inches long each).
-- Measure the front, back, and bottom of the box and cut as many as you need of those. (I used 4 strips, 20 inches long each).
-- Measure one more strip for the sides, bottom, and strap.

-- Sew all the strips into tubes with right sides facing, turn right side out, press with seam down the middle of one side.

-- Sew ends of each horizontal tube to form a circle. When you weave the rest, you'll cover up this seam, so it doesn't have to look too finished.

-- Place strap tube along bottom and sides of box, and slip horizontal tubes over both the box and the strap. You can see where some of my strips were pieced together.
-- Weave the vertical tubes through on both sides. Don't forget to weave the straps on the ends too! Once you have everything nice and neat, adjust the tension, and pin in place.

-- Create your lining. Don't forget to add whatever pockets you want!
-- Attach the lining to the top whatever way seems most prudent to you. I still haven't decided if I like my way or not! (My way is to slip the lining over the purse, right sides together; sew, leaving an opening, and turn, then top stitch).

I made several pockets and a key fob.

-- Take pictures of your creation and proudly share with the rest of us!

I made my strips bigger this time, but if I make another one in the future, I think I'll make strips somewhere between this and the first. Maybe 1.5 or 2 inches (finished).

Don't forget to post yours so I can see what you come up with!

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