Monday, January 15, 2018

Christmas FO: Stripe Stricken Bag

So you've seen the first bag I made from this pattern - the simple version, lol - now let's look at this version - the full she-bang. This time in stripes! 
When I told my other sister, Marisa, about my plan to make her a bag for Christmas, she said she wanted it to have clear compartments so she can see what's inside and she wanted it pretty simple. Not knowing what she meant by simple, we face timed and I showed her my Trello board that has my fabric stash so she could pick from there. After joking that I would make the bag out of her most hated fabric - a cotton poplin printed to look like medium wash denim that inexplicably has whole apples, half eaten apples, and chewed apple cores on it that I ended up with in a thrift store lot (she judged me pretty hard for having that one, lol) - she settled on one of the most boring fabrics I had in the category I was showing her: a black and white stripe cotton. Really? I was showing her all kinds of pretty florals and novelty prints, most from fancy quilting brands like Michael Miller and Alexander Henry, and she picks something this plain? She also said that if I added any color that it should be plain navy blue ... ok ... After reminding myself that she can have what she wants since it's her gift, I figured out a way to make the bag still interesting by playing with the stripe directions, so at least it feels a bit fancier than something you'd get in any old store. Anyway, let's see how this bag is different from the Mix Tape bag, shall we?
For this bag I used the entire pattern - the outer bag and the pocket pages. The pattern includes 4 different pocket options. I went with 4 of option A - all vinyl and all with zippers. But more about that below - let's keep looking, lol.
Inside the covers of the bag has the only navy blue - mesh pockets. Funny story - I knew I wanted mesh for this bag, and certainly mesh isn't expensive from various fabric and bag suppliers online, but shipping costs more than the piece of fabric itself and I just couldn't feel ok with that. That's when I thought of mesh laundry bags! I went to the Dollar Tree expecting to find at least a mesh washing bag or something with white mesh, but I discovered that they actually sell pop up mesh laundry hampers :) And they even had a navy blue one :) So I got an entire hamper worth of mesh for $1 - Ho yeah, I'm cheap, lol. But this mesh worked just fine. I made one side with an open topped pocket - this pocket is capped with the striped fabric.
The other side cover has the navy blue mesh, but this time I pleated the fabric to accommodate thicker items and this side has a zipper. I put the zipper as well as the top of the other side pocket so that they are up when the bag handle is up (if that makes sense), so this zipper looks like it might be on the bottom of the pocket in this photo, but it is correctly positioned when the bag is closed.
Another added touch to this bag is that I added velcro to the center pocket area to attach the pocket pages - which are completely removeable (how cool is that?). This is 2 strips of 3/4" wide velcro stitched side by side. I also made sure to play with the stripe directions inside this area - so the stripes that cover the seam allowances here are perpendicular to the stripes on the bag.
Also this time I made the stabilizer pocket fully functional :) On the other bag I accidentally sewed this pocket closed - after all the work sewing in velcro and whatnot. This time I made sure that didn't happen, especially because this may need to be washed since it will be carrying makeup. I used the same hard cardboard canvas that I used in the previous bag - 2 pieces stacked - so the handle stays nice and straight when you hold the bag.
So here you can see that striped top of the side pocket - I made sure to pattern match with the stripes underneath, so this pocket edge kind of blends in.
And the zipper pocket. You can see the pleats better here too.
I played around with thread color on this bag too. For the outside, I did all the top stitching in black, but on the inside pocket pages I did everything in white because it blended in better. Here is a close up of the zipper and handle area. It's not perfect when you look close, but I'm still pretty proud of how it turned out.
I love all the stripe directions around the handle :) I had to break it all up somehow, right? How else can you make a plain stripe fabric interesting? I'm particularly happy with the bias binding. I think it really sets off the rest of the bag.
Also this bag sits much better when closed since it has the pocket pages inside. Basically the pocket pages keep the entire area filled even if there isn't a lot of stuff inside, so the bag keeps its shape better.
And now to the pocket pages! I tried to keep the multi directional stripes going here too with the center area binding (p.s. that piece was improvised by me, lol, not part of the pattern) and the bias binding. This pocket page is what made me question my sanity in starting this project.
The pocket page has 4 zipper pockets in vinyl. The vinyl is pleated so you can put thicker items inside without a lot of distortion. Add the thick vinyl to the fact that it is then pleated, than add the fact that I am sewing through zipper tape as well as zippers that have thick plastic teeth that are technically not supposed to be sewn over on a machine, and you end up with a lot of broken needles. Like a lot. I think I broke 7 or 8 needles on this project. Craziness! I was so frustrated making these pages I actually had to set it aside for a week and muster up more mental strength. I switched to a heavier needle (thicker than I would usually use on a cotton like this but I can't remember the number), and then I only broke 1 more needle, so that's progress, right? I also had to contend with the fact that my pockets somehow were not the same size once the zippers were sewn. I pleated them all identically, so it had to be something with the zippers. Also I would not be making any additional pocket pages (thank heaven), so the velcro would not be sewn in the center to cover the pocket edges like the pattern indicates (seriously - you don't need infinite pockets and to put the velcro on each page is a waste of velcro in my opinion). So I decided to make a band to cover this area. Once I had every pocket top stitched to the base, I measured how wide my band would need to be, added seam allowances (which were folded under before top stitching this piece on) and went on my way. I decided to use this opportunity to change the stripe direction once more, so this band is perpendicular. Now you can't tell that my pockets weren't the same size :) Problem solved!
This is what the back of the pocket page looks like. I was worried it would look super messy with all the top stitching on the edges of the fabric, but happily that all stayed within the velcro so it's completely hidden :) This is also 2 strips of 3/4" wide velcro - I used the soft, non-grab-everything-kind so it wouldn't pick at the fabric. I seriously love the bias binding! Are you tired of hearing me say that yet, lol?
My final touch to this bag was a bit tongue in cheek. My husband had the idea to add a bit of the apple core fabric since Marisa was so offended by it, lol, plus she calls everyone a bitch when they disagree with her, so I made a patch :) I fussy cut a very offensive already-bit-into apple piece, backed it with a heavy sew on interfacing (Pellon 40), and overcast the edges all the way around. I also used my machine to embroider a little message for her, lol. (For the record if this were for anyone else I would never have made such a thing, but this is my sister who requested the humping deer hat, so she was certainly fine with it). I was kind and just pinned the patch inside the back of the pocket page, so she can remove it if she so chooses.

And that's the stripe stricken bag :) This was a lot of work, but again everyone was amazed at the factory like finish. I'm very glad I had the Craftsy class to make this one with - particularly when I ran into problems with the pocket page. Now that I've done all this work and made a few of these, I want one for myself! I'm not sure yet what I want to put in it, but rest assured I will make one, lol. I've even had other family members request these for birthdays, so I'm sure there will be more in my future. This turned out to be a very useful pattern and a fun challenge, so I would definitely recommend this class to anyone interested in bag making!

Fabric: 2.5 yards black and white stripe polished cotton (thrifted), navy blue nylon mesh (from laundry hamper, lol)
Pattern: Everything In Its Place Organizer by Annie Unrein (from Craftsy's Sew Sturdy: Travel Organizers Class)
Notions: Bosal In-R-Form fusible foam interfacing, clear 12 gauge vinyl, 6 pieces of zipper by the yard in white, thread, heavy card stabilizer sleeve
Time: 15 hours

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas FO: Mix Tape Bag

So we've finished my many year end round ups, but I can't quite let 2017 lie yet. I still have to blog the items I made as Christmas gifts :) I'm going to blog them in chronological order of when I made them, so let's start with this cute bag!
When it came time to decide what to make as gifts for my family this past Christmas, I'm honestly not sure what put this pattern into my head. I've had the Sew Sturdy: Travel Organizers Craftsy class for quite a while, but I had never watched it let alone made a bag. When planning for Christmas, I decided that it would be a nice gift to give, but knowing it would be a fairly involved project I decided to tell my two recipients my plans as see what customizations they might want - if I'm going to put that much work into a project, I want to make sure it will be something they will enjoy. I presented my sister, Shannon, with the idea of making a bag to hold all of her cross stitching supplies. Cross stitching is her one old lady habit :) She said she liked that idea, and that she would want it to hold patterns, 2 thread boxes, and maybe her little zipper bag of notions. She wanted the fabric to be a surprise. She said, "It can be fun, but not too crazy," which I interpreted as what I've made. So let's take a look at the bag!
The bag is called the Everything In Its Place Organizer Bag by Annie Unrein. I believe you can buy the individual pattern from, but it also comes as a pdf download with the Craftsy class. The bag is a suitcase style zip open organizer that measures about 14" x 11" and 4" deep (if I remember correctly - I forgot to measure them and the pattern doesn't say). The pattern includes making this bag as well as making pocket pages - which I did not need for Shannon, but I did end up making for my other sister, Marisa. Check back soon for a post on that bag. The bag I made for Shannon just has pockets along the inside covers of the bag.
The bag has great structure and stands up easily by itself - the bag is empty in these photos - and this is due to the foam stabilizer. The pattern recommends Soft and Stable, which is a By Annie's product (who teaches the class), but I had Bosal In-R-Form fusible stabilizer on hand which Sara from Sew Sweetness says is a good substitute in her patterns, so I went with that. For Shannon's bag, I thought she might like this cassette tape print from the Geekly Chic quilting cotton line. I had 2 fat quarters I grabbed at some point, so I did not have enough for the entire bag. I actually am really glad I had to pick coordinating fabrics, but it did make gauging how much fabric I needed a challenge since not only was I using more fabrics than the pattern is written for but I also wasn't making the pocket pages which use a lot of fabric, nor was I quilting the bag which also takes extra fabric that you trim away. When all was said and done, I used:
  •  2 fat quarters for the main panels and the handle (using the scraps for little pieces like the extra inside pocket and the pocket trim)
  • 1/2 yard black and white houndstooth quilting cotton from Hobby Lobby
  • 1/3 yard of the acid green atomic print quilting cotton (from my stash)
  • 1/2 yard of purple broadcloth for bias binding
  • 1/2 yard of Bosal In-R-Form fusible 
  • 1/4 yard of clear 12 gauge vinyl from Hobby Lobby

The zipper was a seriously lucky thrift store find. I grabbed a bag with 15 yards of zipper tape and a box full of zipper pulls for something like $2 a few months ago not knowing what I would use it for. Technically this is the wrong type of zipper - this is a sport style with thick plastic teeth and Annie recommends a handbag or dressmaker's zipper because you can sew through the teeth of those while the one I used is technically too big. I made it work, but it was a challenge and I broke a few needles in the process. Doesn't it look good though? I threaded the pulls on at opposite ends to get the double opening zipper. Since I had no instructions, I had to watch a you tube video, but I figured it out thankfully.
The insides have just a couple of pockets. I made one vinyl pocket following the video's instructions and I used the cassette tape fabric for the trim (basically I was trying to use that anywhere I could). I changed the pattern and made the fabric pocket on the other side myself. I used two rectangles of the green fabric, one with Pellon SF101 interfacing fused to it - sew them together along one long side - press them right side out. I had some decent size rectangles of the cassette print, so I made a smaller pocket the same way (interfacing one side) but sewing it completely around and flipping it before top stitching it to the larger pocket. Totally easy change to make. I didn't think Shannon would need the mesh pockets the pattern suggests, nor would she need a zippered pocket since all she wants to use them for are paper patterns and books.
As you can see the pockets are the perfect size for patterns :) I hope she can easily fit all hers inside.
The height of the bag turned out to be perfect for 2 boxes of thread plus there is a nice little area around them to add a notions bag.
This is the bag closed with the boxes still inside - perfect! She could even add the thickness of some patterns and it would still close just fine.
I did have one little snafoo with sewing the stabilizer sleeve at the top of the bag. This area is technically a pocket - you sew it with velcro at the top edge to keep it closed and once the bag is sewn you add a piece of heavy cardboard or something to keep the bag from "pooching" when you use the handle. Everything was fine until I was sewing the binding to enclose the seam allowance at the zipper edges. I forgot about the pocket and sewed right through its top edge :/ There were so many lines of stitching in that line from the velcro and everything that I had no idea which thread to snip if I was to rip it out, so I just went with it. I used 2 pieces of flat cardboard panting canvas cut to measure and slide them in at the side, then basted the edges closed. I sewed the rest of the bag together with this hard stuff in there already, which definitely made things trickier to get my machine around, but it worked out ok. I figure that a cross stitch supplies bag will probably not need to be washed in the machine, so it will be fine. And it looks so nice inside with that binding :)
I did have one other (more) unfortunate incident. When trimming the bias binding after getting it completely sewn around the bag (both passes), I snipped a hole in my binding :O I was not happy. This bag was completely finished at that point and had to sit in my room for over a week until I finally buckled down to cover it up. The only thing I could do was cover it with a small piece of binding and I hand sewed it with a ladder stitch to try and keep it less visible. I don't think it would be noticeable if you didn't know it was there.
So that's the particulars of this bag :) Frankly I would've kept it for myself, lol, but it was Christmas so... Shannon got lucky. This was a very involved project - from watching the class to gathering the supplies to sewing - but it was a very rewarding one because the finished bag looks so professional. My whole family kept commenting on how it looked factory made (to which I said, "How dare you question my skills.")

I definitely liked this Craftsy class to make this with as it made the entire process much easier. Frankly, that pattern was very complicated without the video class to explain. I guess it's because I haven't made a lot of bags, but since this technically has no pattern pieces (just instructions on what size rectangles to cut), it got pretty confusing given the changes I made with fabric types and whatnot - the class made the pattern much more understandable. Plus Annie gives a lot of extra tips and explanations as to why you should do things a certain way, which is always nice. I'm glad to have given this pattern a try and to have a nice and custom gift for Shannon this year. I think I fulfilled the prompt of "fun but not too crazy," and it fulfills needs she has in a bag. She says she likes it, so let's hope she's telling the truth, ha ha.

If you like this bag, check bag in a few days for my second bag I made from this pattern where I made the entire pattern with the insert :)

Fabric: 2 fat quarters of Geekly Chic by Amy Adams, 1/2 yard purple broadcloth, 1/2 yard black and white Hounds tooth, 1/3 yard acid green atomic print cotton
Pattern: Everything In Its Place Organizer by Annie Unrein (from Craftsy's Sew Sturdy: Travel Organizers Class)
Notions: Bosal In-R-Form fusible foam interfacing, Pellon SF101 fusible interfacing, 38" of zipper by the yarn in white, thread, heavy card stabilizer sleeve, soft velcro
Time: 8 hours

Monday, January 8, 2018

A Year In Books: 2017

It's that time again - time to look at all the books I managed to read last year. And since I love the graphics Goodreads puts up, that's what you see here (thanks, Goodreads!). Speaking of, if you are on Goodreads, drop me a line (click here for my profile).

I made it a point to diversify what I read this year. I read everything from giant classics (War and Peace, David Copperfield), to super popular (The Lovely Bones, Into the Water), from self help (You Are A Badass, The Millionaire Next Door ), to brain science (Who's In Charge?). I didn't have as many books knock me off my chair this year (as you will see in my 5 star list), but I enjoyed quite a lot and still contemplate things about their stories long after I've read them. Others were total throw aways that I couldn't wait to finish. Definitely an interesting mix!

I did pretty well with writing reviews on the books I read until about halfway through the year (as you will see - I've linked each title to blog post review if it had one). Maybe I can blame this on the hurricane as well? lol Man that this really messed up my schedule. Moving on! I also changed my posting format to have one review post for every 5 books, which I much preferred because it made each review feel less ominous to write. Did you like this set up better? Should I include more reviews in each post so you can skip them? lol Let me know what you thought. 

So here are my books from 2017:
1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon
2. Joy on Demand by Chade-Meng Tan
3. You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
5. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
6. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
7. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
8. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
9. The Complete Tales of Beatrix Potter by Beatrix Potter
10. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
11. Naked by David Sedaris
12. Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
13. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
14. My Week With Marilyn by Colin Clark
15. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K Rowling
17. The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley
18. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
19. The Remains of the Day by Kasuo Ishiguro
20. Tenth of December by George Saunders
21. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson
22. My Ántonia by Willa Cather
23. Who's In Charge? by Michael S. Gazzaniga
24. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking
25. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
26. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
27. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
28. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
29. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
30. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
31. Theft By Finding by David Sedaris
32. Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
33. White Oleander by Janet Fitch
34. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss
35. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
36. To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
37. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
38. You Are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero
39. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
40. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
41. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
42. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
43. MirrorMask by Neil Gaiman
44. The Lovely Bones by Alice Siebold
45. Believe Me by Eddie Izzard
46. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
47. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
48. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
49. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
50. Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown
51. Children Playing Before A Statue of Hercules by David Sedaris
52. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
53. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

I really squeaked out the 53rd book - I finished it at about 9 pm on New Year's Eve. I tried to focus on reading a balance of new fiction with books on the Books Everyone Should Read type lists. Click that link to take an epic quiz and see how many you've read. I found it last year and was at 99, now I'm up to 109 - not bad in my opinion. 
  • You are a Badass 
  • The Subtle Art
  • We Should All Be Feminists
  • The Omnivore's Dilemma
I didn't get a chance to write a review of The Omnivore's Dilemma, but seriously it's so good. I'm not sure if I just need to be more discerning of what I read to get more 5 stars or if I've read so much that it takes more to impress me on that level. Who knows?
I managed to yet again beat my goal on Goodreads :) I really love keeping track of everything there - I can look back on when I read something and what I thought of it. I can also see who I read the most (David Sedaris and Neil Gaiman this year) and other interesting statistics. I'm obviously a nerd (in case you didn't know) so I like things like this, lol. 

So that's my year in books! I've set a goal of another 50 books in 2018 (I've decided this will be the year for Crime and Punishment at last), so stay tuned for what I decide to read and my reviews if you're interested.

Friday, January 5, 2018

A Year in Thread: 2017

Now let's get back to year end round ups :) Since we already looked at my year in yarn, this is everything in thread (all my sewn items).
1. Marianne Top - This shirt was one of my top 5 hits this year. I love the fabrics and the loose fit. This became my shirt to wear to work when I would rather be wearing pjs at home - it's just as comfy but it looks more put together. I still have adjustments I plan to make on future versions, but I definitely will be making more since I love this one so much.
2. Hepburn Henley - This was a disappointment, but I do still wear it when I schlep around. I like the idea of this design, but the pattern just did not work for me and I had more problems then you would think on something that looks so simple.
3. Copycat Wild Flower Top - This shirt has never been worn out of my house. I love the idea of the design, but this fabric combined with the tiny folded hems left me with a neckline so wide it exposes my religious garments. Sad since it looks cute in the photos.
4. Khaki Sally Skirt - My first ever fly front :) This was my muslin of the Sally skirt and in spite of the not great adjustment I made to the center back seam I still wear this every now and then. The fabric should be heavier, but it's still a cute design.
5. Conny Frost Skirt - A simple hem-shortening refashion in a dreamy crepe fabric. I like this one, and it does get a bit of wear. The pockets are still fantastic.
6. Gray Linen Skirt - Another hem-shortening refashion and another fabric that I love. This is a linen/cotton blend. I wear this every so often but I have to have the right shirt with it or else I feel frumpy. I'm not a big fan of the tulip shape on my frame. But it does still work as a nice basic with the right shirt.
7. Medieval Costume - This really turned out so great and I'm super proud of the whole outfit. I wore this to sing at a Madrigal feast, and my mom wore it to our church halloween party. This is very comfy to wear because it fits so well, it's nice and light due to the silk fabric, and it feels really fancy. I still have a bunch of this green silk left so I hope to plan a nice dress I can wear more than occasionally out of it :)
8. Red Boogie Retro Top - I still lament the fabric of this shirt. This was my muslin, technically speaking, but I had very high hopes for it. Sadly it shows my religious garments, so it's not wearable for me. I find myself wishing I could wear it quite a lot, so I hope to find a similar knit fabric to make another that I can actually wear.
9. Crazy Daisy Top - Another test of the Boogie shirt pattern to experiment with the neckline width. This one went a bit too far in, making it look like a plain v neck :/ This is technically wearable, but it feels pretty frumpy so I never do wear it.
10. Red Dot Sailor Top - This was an unexpected hit - I love this shirt and wear it quite a lot! When I made this I just wanted to try out the Sailor pattern, but I love the swiss dot fabric I used and then length. This also spawned my mini capsule wardrobe, which I know contributes to this being worn so often. I can just grab the pieces I know work with it and go :) I have several more of this shirt planned, so hopefully I can make them soon.
11. Black Holyburn Skirt - My biggest hit of the year even if it is a bit boring, lol. I wear this skirt really frequently - I mean it's black, it fits well, it's comfy, and it never needs ironing :) What's not to love?
12. Tigeroga Hollyburn Skirt - I just love this fabric and I am so happy I blatantly copied Katharina of Froebelina's version :) Thanks to my multiple tops I made that coordinate, I wear this a lot more than I though I would.
13. Teal Retro Boogie Shirt - Another big hit of the year :) This pattern took some real dedication and perseverance, but this top is the result so clearly it was worth the work. I wear this with my capsule as well as other bottoms quite a lot. I mean it's a solid color that fits in my wardrobe well but has an interesting detail. These are the types of pieces I reach for again and again.
14. Navy Linen Skirt - This was a refashion that now needs to be refashioned ... again... lol.
15. Blue Pin Dot Lark Tee - This was technically another muslin, but it turned out kind of *meh* wearable. I wore it out the week I made it and it rubbed blue all over my white leather purse :/ I've washed this fabric several times and it still rubbed off. I've been weary of wearing it ever since. I'll have to experiment with ways to wash it and get the excess blue dye out before I will be ok with wearing it again.
16. Gray Melissa Skirt - The skirt that had such potential *sigh*. I still wear this on occasion, but it looks really bagged out and awful after just a few hours. I wish that wasn't the case, but the all cotton fabric is just not great for my life apparently. I'll add this to the list of "things to recreate with better fabric".
17. Black Stripe Renfrew Hack - I really like this shirt, and I wore it quite a bit when I first made it, but the hem started to unravel after a few wears and I have yet to fix that. I've still worn it with the hem like that, but I don't mentally factor it in my wardrobe when I'm getting ready since I know it needs fixing. So I guess I should fix it :)
18. Mint Twig Renfrew - Totally love this shirt! It's comfy and it's cute. My only beef is that the sleeves are slightly shorter than 3/4, but that's a very small issue. I love how the neckline turned out, so I will definitely be making more shirts like this.
19. Boot Bag - I made this for my youngest sister's birthday, and it was well received :) This was my first time making a bag like this (with foam interfacing and whatnot) and it turned out well if a little smaller than I thought it would. I still love that Yee Haw boot though.
20. Black Fly Front Skirt - Another great workhorse in this muslin of a skirt. Again the fabric is a bit too light, but I still wear it. This has a fly front that turned out nicely and I love the patch pockets :) I will certainly make this pattern again in a heavier fabric.
21. A Tangled Halloween - I LOVED this costume. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out all the components, but it turned out great. Everyone knew who I was and it was super comfortable. I had a lot of fun with this project :)
22. The 60s Dress - My first vintage pattern! This was a process to fit and make, but I loved getting to use my vintage supplies to make a vintage dress. This definitely turned me on to using my vintage patterns more.
23. Bert's Bed - It's just so cute! I love this pillow. Bert doesn't really sleep on it, but he plays with it so that counts as a win. Really I just wanted an excuse to make a pillow.
24. Mix Tape Bag - Shannon's (my sister) Christmas gift :) I made this bag to hold her cross stitching schtuff. This was a good size project, and there will be a full blog post coming soon.
25. Stripe Stricken Bag - Marisa's (another sister) Christmas gift. I used the same Craftsy class to make this bag, but it turned out to be much more involved than the first one. This will have a post very soon as well.
26. Lego Bag - My sister mentioned to me how my nephew saw one of those bags that you play legos on and then cinch it all up when you want to put them away and he thought it was awesome. Done and done! I made this version as part of his Christmas gift.
27. The QVC Shirt - Kelly's (another sister) Christmas gift. My mom bought a shirt from QVC that both she and my sister loved. The shirt was quite pricey, so they both asked me to make a pattern from it to recreate as much as they want. This was the "wearable muslin" I made for Kelly for Christmas and she says she loves it. Post to follow soon.
28. Mint Sequin Plantain - My mom loves her Plantain shirt I made her last year, so I decided to make her another. She chose this awesome sequin fabric from my stash and I combined it with a cream interlock and with a few small tweaks from the last time this is pretty close to perfect for her. I'll post about this soon.
29. Mayberry Dress - I was lucky enough to get to review this pattern for Jennifer Lauren Handmade, and I absolutely love the result :) Definitely a fun way to end the year and keep me motivated to make more stuff!
30. Running Arm Band - I actually made this back at the beginning of August, but I never got any pictures of it as it went into immediate use. So this picture kind of looks like nothing, but it holds my phone wonderfully on my arm while I run. I made this using a random remnant piece of supplex from Joann's and a free pattern from Fehr Trade.

I'm ... ok ... with the number of items I sewed this year. I honestly wish I had made the time for more, but I allowed other things to take precedence. I also stopped sewing when I started running on the thought that I would be mad if my measurements changed right after I made something. This was decent logic, but it was pretty depressing! I found myself really wanting to sew something at times, yet reminding myself I couldn't. I kind of replaced sewing with painting at first, but even that dwindled a bit as sewing came back around. I hope to find a better balance with sewing this coming year so I don't have such a long stretch without me being able to practice on of my favorite hobbies for any length of time. So, as ever, I will continue to just sew what I feel like sewing in 2018 :) Here's hoping I can stick with just that, lol.