Friday, August 24, 2007

Making a Messenger Bag from a Skirt

I made this messenger bag from a recycled skirt. Here are the instructions for a really easy project

Use a knee-length straight skirt. I found my skirt at a thrift store. The skirt will form the body of the bag. Sew up any side or back slits, remove the waistband and cut off the hem.

Sew the skirt closed at the bottom edge and then fold the bottom corners toward the side seams. The width of the bottom of these corner triangles will establish the width of your bag. I chose a 4" wide bag. Top stitch the triangle sides to the bag.
Mark the back side of the skirt about half way between the top and bottom, depending on how tall you want your bag to be. The top part of the skirt will form the flap, and the bottom part will be the body of your bag. I decided to keep the zipper in the skirt, which will form a zippered pocket on the inside of the flap.

Carefully cut across the marked line, through only one layer.
Turn right sides together at the top of the skirt, and stitch. I took the waist darts out of my skirt, but would leave them in next time. This way your flap is narrower than your bag. Now you should have a completed bag exterior. To make the lining, cut a piece of fabric the size of your bag, exclusive of the flap. I used a piece from an old corduroy skirt. For the pockets, stitch some rectangles with right sides together, leaving an opening for turning right side out. Turn the pocket and stitch it to the lining on three sides. Top stitch across the pocket to make sections.

Now run your bag by your feline design consultant. Bunny is channeling Coco Channel for me. I cut the bag strap and hardware from a worn out messenger bag and attached it to the new bag using a loop made from the skirt's waistband. Pin the loop between the lining and the bag and top stitch the bag opening all the way around. You will be attaching the lining to the bag and to the inside of the bag flap.

Reinforce the strap loop.
To stabilize the bag bottom I taped two layers of cardboard together with mailing tape. I wrapped the cardboard in an envelope I made from a piece of denim.
Voila, a new bag.

Boy this tutorial writing is harder than it looks! I hope these instructions were clear.

Loaves and Fishes

I haven't quite fallen off the edge of the world, but the school year has started again and I'm back at work. I have less time for fiber work, but I'm fortunate to have a job where I can be creative in other ways.

Before I went back to work, I decided to clear out some Christmas fabrics that I had in the drawer. When I combined them with some non-holiday but matching fabrics in my stash, I almost miraculously had enough to make these two quilts. The first one is about 30x30 inches, and the second one is larger, about 50 x60.
These photos are a bit blurry, but the close-up is clearer. I think I'll quilt these for gifts.
One of my favorite thrift stores is moving to another location so they marked almost everything down so they don't have to pack more than absolutely necessary. I got this wonderful batch of buttons for 35 cents. There are some wonderful large vintage coat buttons.

I like that some of them are not round.
In this batch, the little green buttons caught my eye. I like the metal buttons, which I use for sweaters and other garments.

Some days I just get lucky. I love getting these little gifts from the universe.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Going for Baroque

20 x 27

I just finished this new piece in my Madonna series. Debra and I have been encouraging and inspiring each other over on our shared blog The Madonna Idea.

You can click on this image for a better view. There are some close-ups and a few notes over on the other site. Be sure to check out "Continue," Debra's latest quilt in the series.

Sweater Genesis

  A few years ago I learned to harvest yarn from old wool sweaters.  I don't do it so much anymore, with the exception of if I find...