Thursday, June 26, 2008

Patchwork Lunch Bag

DD has been in an art program at a local college for these past two weeks. The weekend before the program started, I made her a lunch bag.

The lunch bag:

Patchwork Lunch Bag

With front flap open:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - Front with Flap Open

We used scraps we have accumulated from our own sewing and from a grab bag of scraps I bought from cascadelemonade's etsy. DD looked through all the scraps and picked the ones she wanted in her lunch bag. I then made them into strips, cutting them down if needed or placing shorter bits together into longer strips.

To make the pieced fabric for the front and back/flap panels, I laid all the pieces out on a lightweight woven cotton and zig-zag stitched over the edges of the strips of the novelty fabrics. The backing fabric makes it easier to sew the edges of the pieces and also adds stability.

I am particularly pleased with the placement of the pieces in the back/flap panel!

Back of bag:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - Back

Back of bag with flap open:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - Back and Flap - Piecework

The strap is a piece of webbing that Sommersbreezeantique used as a ribbon to wrap a vintage dress I bought from her etsy.

I made loops of turquoise grosgrain ribbon to run the strap through, lapped the ends of the webbing and zig-zagged over the edges.

Detail of the strap attachment and stitching at the strap ends:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - Strap Attachment Detail Patchwork Lunch Bag - Strap Detail

The strap is a long loop that runs through the two ribbon loops. When it is worn long, the "bottom" of the loop is under the flap, and the bag hangs from the flap. When the strap is worn short (doubled up), the bag hangs from the grosgrain loops. (This is how DD mostly likes to use it.)

The strap, long or doubled up:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - With Strap Long Patchwork Lunch Bag - With Strap Short

The vintage button also comes from Sommersbreezeantique's etsy. She bought a big lot of vintage buttons from an older lady who did not want her buttons any more, but who did want money to go traveling with her friend. And we bought three big scoops of buttons from Sommersbreezeantique, which included two of these wonderful turquoise buttons. (So we still have one to play with.)

It was a lot of fun making this bag, especially working out the how to place the pieces. I am particularly pleased with the placement of the two pirate pieces, on the front of the bag and on the flap, so they are close when the flap is closed. DD is particularly pleased with the little bit of cowgirl and chicken at the base of the bag.

Close ups of the patchwork detail and vintage button:

Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail
Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail
Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail
Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail Patchwork Lunch Bag - Patchwork Detail

I made DD a purse for summer camp last year. Because she has been increasingly focused on her own environmental responsibility and on inspiring our family to live more lightly on the earth, I wanted to make something this year to support her in her environmentalist efforts. A reusable lunch bag is obviously better than a disposable one, but what is less obvious is that using reusable containers in the lunch bag takes up more room than disposable food packaging. Disposable food packets tend to be more closely fitted to the item they contain than we can achieve at home putting food into reusable containers: we end up with more air space throughout the lunch. So I made the bag nice and roomy to fit an eco-friendly lunch!

Craft Info:

Made for: DD
Occasion: Save the world
Date made: June 15, 2008

Fabrics: Front and back/flap: Scraps of woven cotton novelty fabrics (from our stash and from cascadelemonade's etsy); lightweight woven cotton for backing. Sides and lining: lightweight black denim.
Other materials: Strap: green webbing reconned from package wrapping. Loops for strap and button: turquoise grosgrain ribbon. Button: vintage turquoise button from Sommersbreezeantique's etsy. Thread: green, pink and turquoise. Elastic to cinch in the sides.
Front panel: 10" x 10". Back/flap panel: 10" x 16". Sides: 5" x 10". Bottom: 10" x 5". Strap: approx 1 yard.
Construction notes: The bag is fully lined with the black denim (five pieces in the same dimensions as the outside pieces). Dimensions are cut dimensions, before sewing; 1/4" seams throughout. The top stitching on the denim is turquoise and green. There is turquoise, green, and pink top stitching on the pieced panels. There is a casing for the elastic at the top of each side panel made by stitching the outside and lining pieces together.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meme time

Tagged by Samsara!

"The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 5 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer."

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?:

Ten years ago? 1998, June. Okay, context: the dot coms were booming, Y2K was looming, and George W. Bush was still only a problem for Texas, and not the whole world. So, (relative) peace and prosperity, as they used to say.

On the home front, my little family was living in the Bay Area. The previous summer, the DH, DD and me (pregnant with the DS), had driven across the country to settle in Northern California. I had the baby at home in early 1998, only a couple of weeks after my mother had showed up at our apartment, having left her boyfriend. By June, we were all living in the tiny Bay Area apartment, trying to figure out what to do about the living arrangement.

In 1998, DH had recently gotten his first IT job, and Mom had just returned to IT work after a hiatus of several years. Companies were already gearing up for a smooth Y2K transition, plus they had venture money to spend, so tech jobs were readily available in Silicon Valley. Things were starting to look up for us financially after some pretty rough post-student times.

I had a baby in my arms and a little preschooler by the hand at almost all times. DH's tech job took him traveling about 50% of the time. I thought I might just go insane . . . and Mom's health was in decline, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it would get.

I thought it was interesting times, but I was young, and it was the 90's.

2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?:

It's afternoon. 5 things still to be done today:

  • Laundry on the LineBring the kiddelids home from their summer day programs (Art for the one, Aikido for the other this week).
  • Bring in the laundry from the line.
  • Project plan the recons for all the many items the DD and I brought home from the thrift store this weekend. We're going to have reconned wardrobes this summer!
  • Check my RL email and try to stay on top of it!
  • Crafting for the Harry Potter swap I am in. Such fun super-secret crafting!

3) Snacks I enjoy:

  • Homemade nachos
  • Crisp, sharp apples. Granny Smiths are my favorites!
  • OMG, brie!
  • Cashews. Yum!

And what kind of Pastafarian would I be if I didn't say pasta? That's not a snack, though, but I've never met a pasta I didn't like. ;)

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

  • Go back to college, study in my field of choice, and go out into the world and apply it.
  • Make movies (this ties into the above answer) ;) and fund an independent filmmaker I know. Who would probably also be a billionaire in this fantasy. Anyway. Movies would be made.
  • Put major money into homeschool support organizations and into truly alternative educational institutions. (I'm thinking along the lines of Sudbury here, just so ya know.) ;)
  • Fund the hell out of the primary election challenge to Nancy Pelosi's seat in Congress. (Why? Hint: "Impeachment is off the table." - N. Pelosi)
  • Write my novel. And write my own headlines, and ignore my own deadlines.

And so much more! Some of this I will do anyway. Though, clearly, at a much lower price point.

5) Places I have lived:

  • Northern California
  • Southern California
  • Andalusia
  • Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Arkansas
  • Texas

Not, however, in that order.

6) Jobs I have had:

  • Costume construction for the theater, both as a college work-study job as well as professionally, after I decided it was time to be seeing to a degree that you can't get in college.
  • I had another college job in a local comic book shop. Best. Job. Ever.
  • I've also worked as an administrative assistant, as a desktop publisher, and in IT, designing databases. I have done the teeniest bit of professional videography.
  • Everything else I've worked so hard at, no one has been paying me to do! ;)

7) People I want to know more about

Flo! She does the most amazing multimedia paper crafts, and writes lots of interesting stuff! Flo, if you would be interested and have the time, I would love to see your answers to this meme.

I can't do five because I don't know five people who blog (yet). If you are reading this, and if you want to share your answers, please do this meme in your blog! And let me know, I would love to read your answers and meet new people!

ETA: Blog posts look better with pictures, so I added one. Of laundry!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sewing Party Totes: Photos

A photo post of what we did at my dear daughter's recent birthday party:

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Totes

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Totes

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Totes

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Totes

The girls made the bags, with some help and lots of support. This is what my dining room looked like:

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Sewing Machines

Three sewing machines!

And these were the party favors (plus the bags, of course):

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Needlebooks

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Needlebooks

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Needlebooks

Sewing Party - Spring 2008 - Spools of Thread

Needle books with needles and novelty pins, and tiny spools of thread tied with ribbon. They also made button brooches (one of which can be seen in the last photo of the bags, above).

It was lots of fun!