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71  Re: Sakura to sakuranbo SWAP! [ SIGNUPS CLOSED!!! ](SEND 9.17) in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by LauPre on: September 12, 2007 12:49:03 PM
I am having such a great time doing my first swap!

I thought I might share a few photos I shot earlier this summer when the streets in my neighborhood were covered in blooms.
(hope you don't mind)

(Clickem for larger versions if you're interested)
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72  Easy Removable Shelf Curtains in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: August 31, 2007 03:58:58 PM
I just thought I would share my little epiphany I had the other day.  We've got this rolling computer station type thing that holds an ugly old computer monitor.  The bottom half of the station holds our Library books waiting to be read or waiting to go back.

I decided I wanted to cover the front of the cabinet to hide the mess but I didn't want to just pull out the staple gun and mess it up or have to live with my choice forever. 

My thought?  Buttons!  I used small finishing nails and put one through each hole in the buttons, spacing them out.  I measured it out and put buttonholes along the top of the fabric. Now I have nice little curtains that I can replace whenever my mood strikes!

Just wanted to share....

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73  Sashiko quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by LauPre on: August 31, 2007 12:16:40 PM
I borrowed a book from the library ages ago about sashiko quilting and there was this great quilt in there made of different patterened squares.  I liked it so much that I had to try and make one for myself, even though I'm not much of a quilter.

I cut out the rectangles of blue and then used one of those white pencils for marking on fabric and a ruler to mark out a grid on each one.  I tried to make a different pattern for each rectangle, just making it up as I went along.  I had looked at a bunch of sashiko designs, but I'm not very good at following directions so they're not exact.  I think I like them, though.

(the other side)

I used my sewing machine for the stitching, doubling up on thread and guiding it along my marks very slowly and carefully.  I also used the machine to piece it together and quilt it "in the ditch" around the rectangles.  I used a medium loft batting.

(A little closer)

(kinda shows the back)

I'm working on some matching pillow shams to go with it, too.
I'm really happy with how it came out and it's just perfect for snuggling with!
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74  4 step, EASY zippered pocket tutorial in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 31, 2007 09:05:27 PM
Zippered pockets inside of a purse are a wonderful thing, but if you're anything like me you probably dread that step in the bag creation process.  Zippers can be difficult pains in the teeth, and to be honest I try and avoid them as much as I can.  I've got good news, though!  After hours and hours of sewing bags, I recently came up with a really simple technique to make two interior pockets that sit side by side; one zippered and one open topped.  I love all the great information to be found here, so I thought I would see if anyone would find it useful.  I really think this is a technique that anyone can do!

The finished result looks something like this:

Okay, kiddies, gather your supplies.  You'll need:
-Fabric for the lining of your bag
   >size will vary for your particular bag

-Fabric for your pockets
      >One rectangle of fabric as wide as your lining and twice as tall as  
         the pocket you want to make (plus a little for seam allowance)
       > Two rectangles of fabric as wide as your lining and each
            as tall as the final pocket height
                (Plus a little for seam allowance)  
         Sew these on the width side to make one piece.  
         This way you can have a different fabric inside and out.

-Two strips of fabric, bias tape, or ribbon
      > the first one should be as long as the lining is wide, and the
               second should be a couple of inches longer than the
               pocket will be tall.
         (I usually make my own "bias tape" for this from the fabrics
            I'm using, although I don't actually cut them on the bias.
        Just cut a strip of fabric and iron the rough edges to the back)

-A zipper

Now let's put it together!
Step one: Attach zipper to pocket piece


Fold and press the raw edges of the pocket fabric in toward each other and sandwich one side of the zipper tape between them.


Stitch through your sandwich and all the way across the pocket.
You may want to pin the zipper into place.  You can see in the photo above that I'm not using a zipper foot for this.  I use the side of the regular foot to keep a space between the fabric and the zipper teeth.  

Remember which side you started stitching on.  It's a good idea whenever you are sewing zippers to sew both sides of the zipper in the same direction.  This will help your zipper to lay flat.

Set the pocket piece into place on the lining fabric.  Assuming it is the same width as the lining, just match up the raw edges and secure it with a few pins.

Step 2: Sew down first strip

Take your shorter bias strip and fold under one end.  Line the folded end up with the bottom of the pocket and let the other end extend up to the top of the zipper. It should cover the end of the zipper tape.   (It's ok if it goes over the top, you can clip it down to the right size when it's sewn down.)

Sew from the bottom of the strip up to the top on each side, stopping just at the top of the zipper.

Step 3:  Attach the second strip


Lay the longer strip across the top of the zipper and all the way across the lining.  Stitch this into place on the top and bottom, going in the same direction as you sewed the zipper into the pocket sandwich.

Step four: Sew bottom of pocket

Sew a line across the bottom of the pocket.  make it as straight and as close to the edge as you can.  You may wish to sew two lines across the bottom for extra strength.  Again, sew in the same direction as the zipper and top strip of fabric for best results.

Your pockets are complete.  Finish sewing the rest of the bag making sure that your raw edges on the sides get sewn in with the lining fabric.

A few extra notes:

> If you want a smaller pocket, card slots, or decorative items on the front of the pocket, add them before you begin step one.

>Different effects can be made by choosing the material for the pockets and strips.
By using the lining fabric for both strips, the pockets stand out on their own.

For this bag I attached the pockets on the front of a messenger bag.  I used two different fabrics so that the inside of the pocket would match the main lining of the bag.  I used some pretty vintage ribbon for both the strips.

I left out the open top pocket on this one and centered the pocket in the bag.  I stitched down the sides and across the bottom to hold it in place.

I used the same zipper sandwich technique to make this pocket for the front of this clutch, but left out the top strip.  I sewed the zipper in place with two rows of stitching instead.

Thanks for taking a look at this tutorial.  I hope that someone out there will be able to use this technique themselves.  Feel free to contact me if anything is unclear or if you have any questions.

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75  Re: IMG Heavy-- Bag-a-day update! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 30, 2007 08:54:03 PM
Hi again!
Here's how my display ended up looking:

(That's my little helper there behind the table Smiley )

I moved a few things around through the course of the fair, but it was basically like this.  It wasn't easy to show my items in such a small space, considering the diversity of my bags, and I couldn't really show many messenger bags, but I'm hoping it will be a little better when I get to do a larger fair.  There were a bunch of bags that I really wanted to put out, but just wouldn't fit in the space. Undecided

This is my little helper showing off my cash apron. (I love argyle)

I didn't sell a lot of bags, but I did sell a couple of big ones and a handful of the teenies.  I didn't fret, though.  A lot of people took my cards and took the time to look.  This was my first time ever actually coming face to face with people who were looking at my bags, and just seeing someone smile when they saw one they liked made my day.  I had a lot of fun, I got to see some Craftster gals I've met before, and I got to meet a bunch of new crafty people.   will certainly be trying to do a fair again.
I was surprised just how worn out I was at the end of the day, though.

I've sworn to stay away from my sewing machine for a few days, after all those bags I think I just need a little break.   So I know I didn't actually complete a bag a day for the entire month of July, but I did do 4 complete weeks, and had enough days that I made more than one bag per day that it all evens out.  I just want to be sure not to burn myself out!

so here's the final calendar version commemorating my month of bags!

Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to leave encouragement and suggestions,  it was great!

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76  IMG Heavy-- Bag-a-day update! in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 29, 2007 09:12:08 AM
Just a quick post before I head off to the craft fair, here are my bags for this last week!

Green bag with butterfly applique and pretty beaded fringe.

Pink houndstooth with buckle


White vinyl clutch with music note in sparkly denim

and a bunch of teenies

Black and white floral print clutch/wristlet
the zipper for the pocket on the back wraps around and makes the wrist strap

red and black and polka dots clutch (with rickrack!)

Same fabrics for a little tote:

Okay, my ride for the fair is here, so I'm off wish me luck!

I'll be sure to let you all know how it went!

Original post with the rest of the month:
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77  Re: -IMG HEAVY- A bag a day for a month in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 24, 2007 03:41:14 PM
I've got some neighbors down the street that are moving out, and putting a lot of their junk on the side of the road here in front of our apts.  One of the things they had out there was this old coat rack.  It unscrewed so that I could take out one of the middle sections to make it shorter.  I pulled out the bags and stuff again to see how it might look there without the easel and board.

with the bags in the wooden box it seems to me as if the small wallets were your main work (and that's pretty unfair for those awesome bags)

I read that and looked at the pictures again and you're right.  From a distance you might not even see the bigger bags. 

I'd have to play around with it a bit to figure out just how many bags should be on it (I think it might look a little too full in the photo above) but I like that with this it raises them up a little bit, the bags are just at eye level for me (I'm 5'4").  the top of the rack actually rotates.  A couple of the top hooks are broken off, so I'd have to replace them, but I know of a good hardware liquidator's place near by that would have something I could use for pretty cheap.

Here you can see the base of the rack a little better.  I could line up the smaller bags down here.
The wood on the rack is in good condition (besides the broken off pieces on the top).  I ran a rag with some Murphey's over it and it shined up really well.   

Here's the first set up again for comparison:

Keep these comments and suggestions coming!  I really appreciate everyone's help!
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78  Re: -IMG HEAVY- A bag a day for a month in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 23, 2007 08:12:15 PM
Okay, so I added yesterday's and today's bag to the image at the top.  For both of them I designed the bags around the ribbon trim.  I've been holding onto some great vintage ribbon and finally got around to using them.

Susankg53, you've got a good eye!  It is a giant bag of fries.  The bag is about messenger bag size with individually stuffed fries that peak out of the top.  Thanks for noticing, and here's a bigger photo:

Since you've all been so helpful with craft fair suggesttions, I thought I would go ahead and take some pictures of my practice booth.  I'm pretty embarrassed, though.  I think it looks kinda crummy, but I'm just not sure what to do.

(Sorry for the harsh back-lighting)  You can see my tape marks on the floor that mark out my 4x4 square, and I don't think I can fit anything else in this small of a space! 

Here you can sorta see the little display I did for some smaller, cheaper items.  I made a bunch of these tiny clutches that I can easily sell for in the $3-$6 range, as suggested by many of you, for people who like my work but are on the same kind of budget that I'm on  Cheesy.  It's kind of hard to make out in the picture (again, sorry for the backlighting)  but they're held on sitting on pins stuck into foam-core.  it's pretty stable, and since they're not actually pinned to the board I can urge people to pick them up and look at them.  The foam core is set on a cool old easel, which I think is suitable since the craft fair is being held in a drawing studio and we were warned that the walls are covered with art and there will probably be easels and other props laying around.  as a side note, most of these little bags are made from the extra fabric left over from bigger bags I've made, so I can suggestive sell these to someone who is buying or wants to buy the main bag.

This little box is thrift store happiness!  I found it for $3 and I think it's a good way to hold more bags on the table without it looking messy and cluttered.  I'm not sure if people will want to go and file through the box, though, so I have some table space free to feature a couple of bags.  At this point, my budget is down to my last pennies, so I think I'll just have to go with this unless I can figure something else out.

Redforkhippie  Thanks for sharing some great ideas for building displays!  If I decide to keep doing fairs I may just have to try them out.

And thanks again to everyone who has taken a look and left these encouraging comments!  I'm really starting to feel less nervous.  I will certainly make sure to let you all know how it goes.
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79  -IMG HEAVY- A bag a day for a month in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by LauPre on: July 22, 2007 12:17:55 AM
Part Personal goal, part freaking out about not having enough things to fill a booth at my first ever craft show, I started this month determined to sew up at least one new bag for every day.  I've managed to stick to my goal for 21 days now, and I'm pretty proud!

By LauPre at 2007-07-21

(Click on the photo to see the image full size, about 1024x768)

As you can see, they're all a bit different.  It was fun trying to come up with a new idea every day.  I really got a chance to play around and experiment.

If you don't mind, I'd like to share a few details about a couple of my favorites:

Caution Man Clutch--  I just loved the lining material, so I made a cute patch to go on the front of the bag.

Cherry Bag, with name tag--  I made the patch to look like a name tag type patch.  I wanted the bag to look kinda like a shirt with the buttons, but I guess that didn't come across too well.  I like it anyway.  It's got a cute little snap pouch that can clip on, and the inside is lined with the cherry fabric that you can see as trim on the outside.

I absolutely fell in love with this lining fabric!  When I found this applique I knew it would be perfect with it, and the blue fabric that makes up the body of the bag is soooo soft.

I made three skull bags this month.  The first one was inspired by the black and blue striped fabric, I just thought it was pirate-y.  The second one was a gift for a friend who really liked the first one, but wanted it a little bit different.  This is the third one I made, and I just thought it was fun because of the handles.  I made them out of wood and painted them glossy white. 

I've got just one more week before the fair, and I'm still freaking out.  Honestly, I'm pretty scared. eep  If anyone has any tips for a first time doing a craft fair I'd love to hear them!

Thanks so much for looking!!
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80  Re: dart help! in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by LauPre on: June 17, 2007 03:08:47 PM

I've had a really hard time with darts, too.
For me, the two things I have to watch are the "angle of attack" and the last couple of stitches.

you want the angle towards the end to come in very slowly (in most cases), and when you get to the end of the dart, run a few stitches as close as you can get to the edge, like one or two threads over from the fold before you sew off the edge of the fabric.

Hope this helps!
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