Saturday, November 23, 2013

Gusseted Coin Purse Pattern

  Remember the purple and pink coin purses I made?

  I scanned my pattern in, cleaned it up a bit, and have it ready for you to use! This pattern will fit a rounded frame that is 3 1/4" wide by 1 3/4" tall.
  Feel free to use it however you want- It's a quite imperfect, being hand-drawn and hand-traced, and it's not very complicated, so if you'd like to sell things made with this pattern, that's all right by me. =) I would appreciate link-backs though.

Update: The crookedness of this pattern was really bugging me, so I've re-done it. This one is digitally drawn, and is not crooked! Enjoy. =)

  One quick note: the seam allowances will not meet up at the edges, since they are meant to be folded in opposite directions. The peaks of the gusset will meet the dips of the main piece.
Coin Purse Pattern

   Make sure the square measures 1" when you print it out!

  And now, how to make it! You will need to cut 2 main pieces and 1 gusset piece on the fold of each of the following: Exterior fabric, lining, lightweight fusible interfacing, and fusible fleece. Oh yes, and my pieces are shaped a little differently than the pattern to facilitate pressing the seam allowances in the right directions

  Fuse the interfacing to the back of your exterior fabrics, then fuse the fleece onto that:

  Sew any embellishments onto your front piece now:
Mark the centers of your gussets and main pieces, then pin the lower edge of the main piece to one side of the gusset, right sides together. Sew, starting from the center and using a 3/8" seam allowance. (this just happens to be the distance from the edge of my presser foot to my normal needle position, which is why I chose such an odd number). I recommend keeping the gusset piece on the bottom and straight, and turning the top piece little by little as you sew to match it. Backstitch at the beginning and at the edge, then start from the center again and sew in the other direction, to get this:

   You may want to clip these curves inside:

  Sew the back piece on the same way:

  Repeat for the lining, but leave a hole about 2 inches wide in one of the lower sides:

  Press your seams open as far down as you can... I skipped this step and really wished I hadn't. Leave the lining wrong side out, and stuff the exterior into it, right sides out, so the right sides of the fabric touch. Pin them together:

  Sew around the entire edge, then pull your exterior piece out through the hole you left in the lining:

  Slip-stitch the hole closed and tuck the lining into the purse, then topstitch all the way around the edge. Run a line of glue (I used E-6000) along one edge of the purse and in one side of your frame - the front edge is already done here, look at the back to see what I'm talking about. I didn't go all the way into the angles of the fabric with the glue, because the frame doesn't reach all the way down.

  Depending on your glue, you may have to wait a bit before tucking the purse into the frame. I had to wait about 8 minutes for the glue to bond well... it was still slightly tacky, but no longer smeared on everything. After waiting, poke the center of the purse into the center of the frame, then the edges. Use something like a small pair of scissors or a point turner to get it firmly into the frame. Repeat for the other side of the frame.

  And finally, let it sit again until the glue is fully dried. I left mine overnight before closing the frame or playing with it, but it really takes just a couple of hours to dry. And you are finished!

  Have fun with it! If anything is confusing, please let me know and I'll try to clear things up. =)

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Pair Of Pink Plaid Penny Purses

  There I go with the alliteration again... I'm going to have to make a red and off-white coin purse just so I can call it a 'Cream and Crimson Coin Carrier'. =)

  Anyway, these are my most recent endeavors into the purse making world:

  The larger one is the same pattern as the purple one I made recently, but altered slightly so it fits better into the frame, and with fusible fleece added. I definitely prefer the structure better with the fleece, and it bulks up the top seam so it fills out the frame better.
  The small purse is another pattern I made... basically a circle with a wedge cut out for the ends, and a rectangle with a rounded top for the two sides. It's tiny! And I'm keeping it for my own personal use, because I always end up with way too much loose change in my purse, weighing it down. Having a super-small coin purse will keep me from doing that. =)

    This one is so small that the weight of the frame makes it roll over when it's empty and closed... but once I put a few coins in there it stopped rolling.

  Both purses are made with pink plaid fabric from a fat quarter I bought a long time ago from a quilt shop and used just a tiny bit of. I still have enough fabric left for one more coin purse, I think... I love this fabric.

  They are lined with some lightly patterned cream fabric, trimmed with cream cotton lace from Hobby Lobby (it comes on a roll in the sewing/ribbon section), and decorated with buttons from Joann's. I bought these buttons several months ago in an attempt to bulk up my feeble button collection, and I'm really glad I did. =)

  The frames are from the bagpurseframes Etsy shop. I bought several frames at once, so I had them on hand and didn't have to wait for the long shipping this time.

  The sewing for the larger purse was much easier this time around, and I finished it in only a few hours, in spite of constant interruptions for things like hungry children/husband, messy diapers, and pinched fingers.

  The little one though... it was incredibly difficult to sew, because of its diminutive size. I had to adjust everything every couple stitches to keep from getting sewing in the wrong spots. It was especially difficult to stitch the lining and outer layers together, and to topstitch the opening.

  To give you a better idea of the size, here is a ruler in front of the purses:

  I'm going to have to make one of these for each daughter, as they could not keep from exclaiming over the 'little purses' and trying to 'borrow' them. (Beckers was not involved in this process.) =)

  I've scanned my pattern in for the larger purse and cleaned it up a bit (then re-sized and printed it about 7 times to get it to print right), and should have it up tomorrow with some instructions. =)

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Quick Refashioned Denim Skirt

I've made a few things in the past week, but I think this skirt will get the most use of all of them:

  When I was pregnant with Booper, I sewed a maternity skirt that was really similar to my circled skirt. I wore it throughout that pregnancy, and until I shrank out of it afterward, and again for both of my other pregnancies. Over time, it developed a few small holes, which I took the time to mend because I really loved it. Sadly, it developed a giant, un-mendable gash a few weeks ago. Most of the fabric was beat up and faded, but the flounce was still in decent shape, so I cut it off for future use.

  This skirt is 2/3 of that flounce, gathered onto a wide piece of elastic. I thought that using the elastic as a waistband would be pretty simple, but I actually prefer a casing. Straight-up attaching the elastic requires careful attention to stretching it equally in front of and behind the presser foot... and if you let go with either hand to adjust the fabric you have to stop sewing or the fabric will 'jump' forward or backward. Which means my stitching line is rather imperfect.... which means that I prefer casings. =)

 Being most of a circle, it is quite twirly:

  I unpicked the hem near the back seam before sewing it, serged it to finish the edges, and then re-hemmed just that spot. I prefer doing it that way so the ends of my serging are hidden in a seam.

  It's a very simple skirt, but it will get a lot of use. Oh, and this one wanted her photo taken as well:

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Princess Seam Nursing Dress

On Saturday, I finally finished a dress for me!

  Technically, this is a wearable muslin... I was pretty sure it would work, since it was drafted from my sheath dress sloper, so I went ahead and used fabric I like. Next time around I want to adjust the back shoulder seam higher, and the princess seam in the front a bit lower, but overall I'm quite pleased.
   This dress has princess seams in the front and back, a full hem faced with bias binding,

a keyhole and corseting in the back,

   crocheted trim at the hem, sleeves, and front neckline,

  and thread chains at the waist seams for belt loops, and for a button loop. ( I had no idea how easy those were! I thought they were some complicated sewing knot... but it's just crocheting!) They don't quite match, but this white thread was better than any of my other choices.

   It also has a very functional detail... zippers in the front seams for nursing access:

  I've never seen anything like this before, so I had no idea how well it would work, but it does it's job quite well.

  There is a tiny bit of puckering at the deepest part of the curve due to the stiffness of the zipper tape, but it's not too bad. I chose to put the zippers in upside-down, because I felt that the pulls would be less noticeable below the waist than they would be at the armscye.

   The keyhole in the back made me cry. I didn't want one there to begin with, but I needed an opening to get it over my head, didn't want another zipper, and thought this would look better than a slit and be easier than a placket. I had a perfectly-sewn, tiny keyhole there, but I decided to wash the dress before photographing it since I had some markings on it. In the washing machine, the neckline ripped a whole inch down from the keyhole! I'm guessing I clipped the neckline just a little too close for this fray-prone fabric. I'd added plenty of fray-check before trimming, but it didn't help. Anyway, the only way to fix it without being too obvious was to sew it again larger. I had to add a new piece to the facing and topstitch it, and it just isn't nearly as pretty as it was, though not as crooked in real life as it is in this photo. I'm just glad I was able to fix it at all though, since to replace the back piece would have meant redoing the corseting.

  The grommets were the other truly difficult thing.... installing them wasn't bad at all, but cutting tiny holes through four layers of very thick fabric with somewhat dull scissors took a terribly long time. My thumb hurt all day after that:

  I made room for the corseting by adding 1.5" to each side of the back princess seams at the waist, tapering to nothing at the hip and bust lines.

 The grommets start 1.25" inches below the bust line and above the hip line, to be certain there was room for them in the seam.

  All in all, I love this dress. It's comfortable, and though it may look a bit too costume-y for some, I really don't care. I love this silhouette.

  I'm looking forward to another iteration of this, or maybe a few. =)

  Next on the list is another coin purse... I have the pieces cut out and just need to fuse, sew, and glue it all together. =)

  And just because she's adorable, here is a photo of my little 3-month old, who is growing more quickly than I thought possible:

Thanks for stopping by,