Mama’s Got a New Bag!

Last week I started cutting pattern pieces for Noodlehead’s Campfire Messenger Bag.  There are many pieces to this bag.  There is not only the main, lining and accent fabrics, but there is also the fusible fleece and fusible woven interfacing pieces.  Sadly, I am not the most organized when it comes to sewing- so I tend to cut woven interfacing as I move along with each fabric piece as needed.  YOU would think I would learn, and cut all the lining pieces ahead of time, but no, I don’t- I just continue to use my method of madness. Oh well, what are you going to do?  I did get a pretty nifty bag out of the whole deal, so I guess in a way my method worked!

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The Campfire Messenger Bag, in my opinion is a MUST MAKE and should be put on the top of all of your “to make” lists!  It has just enough pockets both inside and out.  The backside of the bag has a snap pocket, and once you open the flap there are 2 roomy  and easily accessible front pleated pockets.  There is a zipper pocket above those pleated pockets, and on the interior side of the bag, you have two pockets, side by side.   There are many options that Anna presents you with in her pattern for flap closures, heck, I may try them all.  Why not?  I did go with the snap closures for this particular bag.  I feel it gives this bag a nice clean look, very professional.  There is also an adjustable strap that makes it easy to wear the bag either “cross body” style or just over the shoulder.

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This bag is roomy enough for all you essentials and then some.  I don’t have an iPad, but I am pretty sure that would fit also!

I basically used the fabrics I had around already.  I had some Cotton and Steel fat eighths on hand and I used these for the flap and linings.   This particular collection of Cotton and Steel looks really great with navy blue so… I constructed the strap, snap closures and bag binding all in a solid navy blue.  I think from these photos, it may look black, but it is a very, very  dark blue.

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I didn’t have a navy blue zipper of the correct size on hand.  So I opted for an ecru instead.   I also did not add the zip bag closure (optional) for top of the main part of the bag.

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My friends went wild when they saw my Campfire Messenger Bag. Then they went even more wild when they found out I made the bag!!!

I hope you make this bag and enjoy the process as much as I did!

Have a Great Weekend!

One more thing also, I am having a pretty nice giveaway through my instagram, @Traceywirthdesigns.  Hop on over to instagram and follow the qualifying rules. The giveaway closes on Monday September 26th at 5:00 pm PDT.  Best of Luck for those who enter!

It’s A SEWING Give-Away!!!!

I have been feeling very sentimental lately, to the point that it brings me to tears.  I am not sure why, it could be- GASP- menopause, or it could be the fact that my kids used to be this old…..drinks with kids

And now they are this old, and time is going by so quickly..

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AND there is nothing I or anyone else can do to just stop it!  Ugh!!!

Except, we CAN and WILL do a give-away!!!!!  Because, they always make me feel better!!!!

So let me ask you, what is the first item you remember sewing, constructing, sculpting, painting or making. Do you remember how it made you feel?  Was it proudly displayed on your refrigerator by your mom or dad?

 I have written about how my mom forced my sister and I to take 4-H for sewing.  I am very grateful to her now, but back then I was not so much.   Well, this is my first sewn garment, with me modeling it.

 I am pulling out this hideous photo of my first sewn garment.

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It’s a beauty isn’t it?  I was 10, I was chubby and I was not happy about being in a fashion show with those shoes (my mom forced me to wear), and the hideous smock that I sewed.  I remember it so vividly.  I was very awkward who isn’t at 10?  I didn’t feel pretty in it.  I don’t remember being proud of my accomplishment and it unfortunately didn’t make me happy.   😦

Anyhow, my smock was made out of a royal blue cotton calico print, it had pointed sleeves and a pointed bodice.  Beauty!  The headscarf, was just an added bonus, that my mom thought would complete the outfit!  And it did!

So if you would like to enter my give-away, I would like you to rewind back to your past and dig deep, try to remember your first stab at creativity. Here is what you are entering for:

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An Aneela Hoey quilt journal ( it has both plain and graph paper pages), an illustrated sewing machine tea towel and a sewing machine necklace!  All three items will be given to ONE lucky winner!

Click on each picture for more of a description.

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The Aneela Hoey Quilt Journal

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The Oh Sew Lovely Necklace

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This Tea Towel from Girls Can Tell

To enter, please leave a comment telling of your first memory of an item you crafted.  You know my first sewn memory, as hideous as it is, it is what got me started sewing.

If you would like to enter for a 2nd chance to win, become a follower of my blog.  (if you are already a follower, you will be automatically entered for a second chance, but only if you comment first)  Does this make sense?

All entries will be drawn by Random.Org. You may only comment once, for one entry and you may follow my blog for a second entry.   Winners will be announced 2 weeks from today on Thursday August 1st after 12 noon EST.  Deadline for entries is July 31st at 12 Midnight, EST (2013).  Please make sure that I have an e-mail to reach you directly so you can claim your prizes!

I can’t wait to read all your comments and relive your memories with you!  🙂

Good Luck!

Watermelon Smiles!

Is there any better way to welcome summer than with a watermelon and a smile?

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Our son Will, sure does enjoy his watermelon, it brings a nice big smile to his face!

Over the last couple of weeks we were readying ourselves for our big trip back east (Cape Cod).  Packing a family of 4 and 2 dogs for 7 weeks is not a small task when combined with the “end of school craziness”, graduation parties (next year our oldest graduates) and a “TOP SECRET” sewing project.  I can’t show it now, because it is a gift for someone and she may be a blog reader?!

I can show you this though!

 My LOL dress.  I wore this Liberty of London Cambie dress to a very good friend’s wedding.  Unfortunately with our rush to make it to the event before the bride we didn’t get any pictures of me wearing it. Dog gone it!

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I pulled another one of my “I don’t need to read the directions” bits.  At least when it came to the straps.  Why do I do this?  Do any of you have these issues, thinking that just because you have put many sleeves and straps on garments that you THINK you know what you are doing so directions are not needed?!  Well, I did this, and the process of sewing the Cambie dress took me several more hours than it should have.

But let’s focus on the good, shall we?

First of all, you can never go wrong when it comes to Liberty of London fabric.  At around $36.00 a yard, it really is well worth it.  It has a lovely hand  and texture to it.  This particular print Carline Blue is out of print so I purchased it off of etsy (Pins and Needles) in July of last year.  I have been waiting for the perfect dress pattern.   The lightbulb went off over my head when I saw Sewaholics Cambie dress pattern.  I chose the sweetheart neckline and the full skirt option.

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I absolutely love the fullness of the skirt and the marriage between the LOL fabric and the Cambie dress pattern was a match made in heaven.  I made the right choice for my coveted 3 yards of LOL.

I did have one slight fitting issue, that I didn’t have time to fix before the wedding.

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 Well….. If I am real honest about it, it was a complete oversight.  It went undiscovered until I sat down at the wedding!!!! scandalous!  Note to self, bending and sitting are required activities for all home sewn garments before wearing out in public.  EEEEEEK!  I will be correcting this little fashion malfunction before I wear this beauty again.  Hopefully nobody noticed but my very tall husband.  🙂

So…. for the next several weeks I will be blogging, from Cape Cod, Massachusetts!  Does anyone know of any fabric/sewing events that I should attend on the east coast?

One thing I want to mention before I close this post is stay tuned for a give away.  I have some fun items I have been gathering for my next give away.  You won’t want to miss this one!!!

Enjoy your weekend!  Make it a crafty one!

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Hanging with Doris Day – A Dream Come True!

Actually It is a dream, but it didn’t come true- at least not in real life.

I entered another Burdastyle Sewing Challenge. The Burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern Contest.  The idea of this challenge was to use the NEW burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern book as the starting point for your actual garment entry.  I chose the Jamie Dress, which is a 60’s basic shift dress.

 I liked the clean lines, and felt that I could really jazz that “Jamie” up.  This seemed to be the most popular choice for all the contestants, so that may have been my first mistake?  I don’t know-

I traced the pattern to some brown craft paper and then added the 5/8″ seam allowance and from there I sketched many sketches.  burdastyleshift2

I chose existing fabric from my stash.  I was pretty happy about that.  Both these fabrics were purchased from Joann Fabrics weeks prior.

It probably didn’t help any that I may have added too many details (my second mistake?).  The neckline has a placard detail, I added small flap pockets on the hips, surface cording and button details were also added.

Admittedly there is a lot happening with this dress and to this dress.

Front Views

Image Back Views

burdastyledress1I was happy with how it turned out.  I haven’t decided if I will actually wear it.

The best part my garment entry was my photo shoot.  One of the requirements for the contestants, was that they were to not only sew up a great garment, but they also were supposed to make the photographs interesting.  So this is where I believed I shined!!!

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Feast your eyes!  Yes!  That is me hanging out in Doris’ 1960’s kitchen.  She is also holding the Burdastyle Sewing Vintage Modern Book.  My brilliant son Kenny photoshopped this for me-  Isn’t it awesome!  It almost seems real!

There were some pretty soured people who entered the challenge.  I was surely disappointed with the admissions process, there were some glitches.  I do need to remind myself, that even though it would have been great to have won, the process of creating this dress, and the photograph that I now possess MAKE ME VERY HAPPY!!!

By now I am sure you have discerned that I didn’t make the cut from 80 contestants to the 20 that the burdastyle public then were able to choose from.  No worries!

It is a shame, that folks can’t just keep negative comments to themselves and congratulate the very deserving winners!  Here they are!

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The Grand Prize goes to Community Choice Winner, with 557 votes, Elochka for her Scala Dress.  Her dress is on the above right.

AND

The BurdaStyle Community Choice Runner-Up, with 455 votes, goes to Gurda8 for her Dream Date Dress on the above left.

The BurdaStyle Favorite goes to jon994 for her Springtime Fun and Couture Dress
in the photos below.

 
Anyway that’s the skinny!  Please enter to win my give-away, because that makes me happy also!!!

Sew Done!

I should really keep better track of how much time I really put into a quilt.  I think one of the best things about quilting is the fact that you can share them.  Even with the smallest of family members.

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Now that I have officially completed my third quilt, I wanted to do a little review.  I really think with each quilt I have improved and learned so much!

Here is my first quilt:

(notice my crinkled edges) I also didn’t use the highest quality batting.

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My second quilt:

(This quilt was given as a gift to my folks for Christmas)

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And now my completed third quilt:

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This is how it all started:

I was inspired by Tacha Bruecher’s Book, Hexa go-go.

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I sliced up many “strings” of oranges, reds, pinks and yellows. Amazingly, these fabrics were all found in my sewing room.

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I “string pieced” 8.5″ x 8″ squares: (80 of those)

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……sewed those together to create blocks. (20 of those)

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I crafted a bunch of “fussy cut” hexagons, mostly using Heather Ross prints.

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Those were then sewn into rosettes and sewn onto the white “negative” spaces on the quilt.

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The quilt top was finished.

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The quilt “sandwich” came together, and the binding was added.

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She came together and I finished her!

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(My 6’3″ husband is holding the quilt from behind to give you an idea of how big it is)

The back is pretty also.  I did some “free-motion quilting”, which is going to be an ongoing learning process.

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A couple more things before I say bye for today…. This made me happy beyond belief….. I spotted a photo on the Creativebug instagram feed of Heather Ross at Quiltcon donning the blouse I gave her at the Asilomar workshop!!!! You will also see, my friend, Ava Herceg hanging with Heather at one of her Quiltcon workshops.

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Yes, I saw this blouse in Anthropologie, and it said “Heather Ross” to me!  So I bought it and gave it to Heather, because she has given me sooooooo much!

Let me just say one more thing about Creativebug, if you haven’t joined yet do so!  It is a wonderful community of creative people, famous crafters that teach you their craft, through tutorials, you can watch over and over!  It’s really awesome!

My last thought for today is to remind you to enter my Give-Away!  There is still time!

Have a great day!

It’s a Give-Away (my second)

There are many things in this world that make me happy.  Most of the time it is something very small, like getting a key parking spot, finding a 5 dollar bill in my coat pocket from last season, sleeping in with my pugs or confirming that I am indeed right, over some silly fact that Jim and I might disagree over.  🙂

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Of course these are just a few of those things that make me happy.   It really goes without saying that anytime my boys and my hubby are happy I am too.

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Giving also makes me happy!  I love giving presents!  So because I find February to be such a dull month I am going to do a give-away!  I discovered during one of my sewing room clean-ups that I had two of the same Amy Butler books, “Style Stitches”.  It’s a great book with lovely pictures and 20 awesome bags to construct! It’s silly for me to hang on to both, so I am giving the duplicate away in a give-away.ss2

In the photo above you can see that I made the “Cosmo Bag”. Such a lovely bag that I injured terribly over a wine accident while Patty and I were visiting Asilomar!  So sad.  😦

  To Enter for a chance to win Amy Butler’s Book:

Just leave a comment stating what’s that something that makes you happy, it could be anything.  I would  also love for you to become a member of my blog if you aren’t already, (that would make me happy), but it isn’t required.

The winner will be drawn by “Random.Org” and will be announced 2 weeks from now on Monday March 11th at 9:00am PST on my blog Swell Sewing.  You may only comment once and I will not be accepting any more entries after 12:00 midnight PST March 10th.  So please get those comments in early!  I can’t wait to see what makes you happy, maybe I can borrow a couple of new ideas from all of you!

Have a Wonderful Week!

Your Friend,

Tracey

It’s A Give-Away!

I have seen many other bloggers do Give-Aways. I wanted to take part in spreading this joy as well. I just love giving presents!!!! Anyway, I waited until the time was right. So when my blog hit around 50 followers, I thought NOW is the time! Here’s the scoop as to why and what I chose.

Summer here in Cape Cod has been lovely, the last few days we have been spared the humidity. Such a gift. During those hot and humid days I would do a little shopping to stay out of the heat. I discovered the best soap made right here in Cape Cod. I enjoy supporting local businesses, so I purchased a few bars. Well, I fell in love! The soap is made by Summer House and they come in a large variety of scents created from natural items found here in the Cape! I went back to the store and I chose 2 of these soaps as part of my Give-Away, Ocean Scrub and Summer Hydrangea. The Ocean Scrub is awesome, its minty scent wakes you up and its salty texture sloughs off dead skin! It’s great! Cape Cod is covered with hydrangeas, so it is only fitting that this lightly scented soap be part of my Give-Away!

With these 2 soaps as my inspiration I sewed one of my Gosh Golly Goods cosmetic bags to reflect the colors that I think of when I think of Cape Cod. It has a zip top and an inside pocketed panel.

I picked up several yards of Liesl Gibson’s fabrics (Lisette) from Joann Fabrics to create this. Great colors for the Cape.

Back of the cosmetic bag.

Interior view of bag with the pocketed panel for brushes, mascara, long lipsticks and so on. (Brushes are not part of the give-away)

So to enter for the Give-Away, all I need you to do is comment on this entry in my blog. Tell me what item of clothing is your “goto piece”. Something that you feel never lets you down. You know, that thing you can put on when you are feeling you are having a “fat” day and nothing looks good. I would say that for me, right now, it would be my black jersey v-neck dress. I can dress it up or down and I can hide my belly in it when I am feeling a little chubbier than normal. Comments must be received by Sunday, August 5th at Midnight.

Winners will be announced Monday August 6th. If you are one of my international visitors, you are also eligible!

When you comment please make sure that I have a way of contacting you either through your blog or an e-mail.

Thanks and Good Luck!