I have been in the midst of a clutch design experiment over the past few months.
I have been making several different styles from a variety of shapes and colors.
Rhinestones, studs and chains have been sneaking their way into my projects too.
I sketched out a few designs using my curved design rulers, which I learned how to use in graphic design class last year. I have used them so much lately for a few patterns to try.
My inspiration for the brown zebra bag was this vintage beaded clutch I’ve had for years. It’s very pretty but delicate and a little stained, so it just sits safely tucked away in my dresser drawer. I decided to use it as a starting point to come up with my own party clutch. I think my party clutch needs to be wider, so I’m still tweaking the design.
I have also been trying out different fabrics, such as this silk I used for the lining. I’ve never sewn with silk, so I was nervous. It’s more stretchy than I realized, and more slippery than anything I’ve worked with (except for spandex back in the ’80s). But I think it looks so cool as a lining, so I’m definitely going to try that again!
My inspiration for the black zebra bag was this gold clutch I bought in Vegas for $10, thinking it would be another good example to put my own twist on. I was going for a rock-n-roll look with this one.
I love how it turned out, with that asymmetrical flap and musical fabric for the lining. I would like this one to be wider too, so I’m back to the design board.
Can you tell how much fun I’m having with this experiment?! I can’t wait to come up some the final samples to show you.
I finished my Valentines Day table runner, which I pieced together and quilted last year, but I never finished sewing on the binding. Now I can count this as another finished project for the year!
It’s simply uneven strips pieced together, with a border around them. Our buffet table measures about 17 inches deep and this new runner is about 14 inches, so it fits nicely. I love this combination of colors – brown with red and pink.
I appliqued the hearts with my old sewing machine, which never cooperated when doing applique or zig-zag stitches. I ended up hand sewing over the spotty machine stitching because it skipped every couple stitches.
For the binding, I pieced together a combination of the leftover fabrics, which looks cool as you wind your way around this runner.
I’m so happy I stuck with this project, and finally finished it! It adds colorful cheer in our living room, especially this time of year when things look so drab outside. It’s actually the only Valentine’s Day decoration we have in the house, except for that bowl of red and pink MnMs.
Speaking of Valentine’s Day, I have to give a shout out to thank my friend Vicki for sending me a surprise Valentine’s Day package!
She is famous for her whirligig pinwheels, so I feel honored to get a towel with a red-and-white-pinwheel-band through the middle.
I will be wearing this adorable heart brooch for the rest of the week!
I am so glad I took the day off. I had a doctor’s appointment this morning (all is good), and then I went to the yarn shop to browse. I don’t do much knitting in summer, so I haven’t been to the yarn shop in awhile. They moved the register to make more room, and added some shelves for more yarn. They were also offering harvest latte with pumpkin flavoring – yum-o! It felt good to be back, so I stocked up on a few supplies for new projects.
I’m thinking about making a couple felted oven mitts and potholders, and a scarf and fingerless gloves to match my favorite fleece jacket.
Next on my list is to finish my new laptop sleeve. I made it from a pattern in this book-
But I didn’t follow the pattern exactly.
In my stash I found these great fabrics from Amy Butler’s Midwest Modern collection, so I decided to make the front from a solid piece of fabric instead of patchwork.
It isn’t quite finished yet because I still have to hand sew the lining to the outside, and I’m going to add handles to it, but here it is so far-
Isn’t it cool? I really like how it turned out. This is the first time I have used fusible fleece, and I love it. Highly recommend it. I fused the fleece to both the outside and lining fabrics for added cushion to support my laptop, and I’m happy with the result. It created a lot of extra bulk in the seams, but I trimmed the corners and seam allowances, which helped reduce the lumps and bumps.
Thank goodness I had made the portable cushions from Sew,Mama,Sew’s tutorial series or I would never have figured out how to do the zipper and gusset. The directions for that part in this book were very minimal, so I used the directions from the cushion tutorial and things went together quite smoothly. I will post another picture as soon as I finish the hand sewing and handles.
Now I’m going to enjoy the rest of my day off!