Claire Fold-over Clutch :: Pattern Release

The Claire Fold-over Clutch with cross-body strap is my very first bag pattern release.  ‘Talk about  all the feelings right now!  There is so much to say about this bag, both in it’s functionality and how it just came to be.  If you can bear with me, I’ll dive into both :)

Many of you know that I’ve been selling on Etsy for awhile and broke out into local Indie Craft shows just a few years ago.  With the shows, I started to sell more bags to complement my baby accessories and noticed how my wristlets and fold-over clutches were selling over my larger bags.  To differentiate myself from other bag-makers, I had to add some features and finishes to elevate my product…which in turn, became the Claire.

The following are those key features:

  • Back Pocket – I knew I had to make more of these bags and then a friend came to visit during my holiday sale season.  She had a similar fold-over style bag, but with a front pocket for her phone.  When she reached down and had that immediate accessibility to her phone, the light bulbs were going off.  It seems like we’re all glued to our phones and they just keep getting bigger and bigger…so our back pant pockets are no longer enough.  Since my friend’s bag was by a national manufacturer, there was no easy way I could replicate the front pocket style, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t make a back pocket!

  • Cross-body Strap – I look to my nieces and popular brands for inspiration and I continually see the long straps for the on-the-go millennial and of course, us  busy moms too!  I wanted to make sure it was adjustable and the 60″ strap works for many different body types and all the different occasions in our lives.

  • Bag to Clutch Versatility – As a clutch, the fold-over style is so cute and I didn’t want hanging side “ears” to get in the way of that classic silhouette.  So the D-rings are set in the back of the bag.

  • Modern and Sleek look – The faux leather panel adds the extra bit of class and style to this bag.  It immediately heightens the looks and your friends will never think you made this bag.

  • Easy to Sew – By keeping the front panel for your accent substrates with either faux leather, cork, or vinyl, you are sewing through the fabric and one layer of the accent.  In other patterns, you can be sewing through 4 layers in addition to the fabric and interfacings.  Not all domestic machines can handle that and I want as many sewists with all different types of machines to be able to make this bag.

  • Interfacing  – I’ve made probably 30 of these bags already…so I’ve played with numerous interfacing combinations.  You want enough structure in the bag, but not too much that it will not fold-over properly.  And most people are like me, we like to use different fabrics and I’ve tried to take the guessing game out when you do decide to switch up.  The interfacing cuts are calculated so you have the strength and structure without having to sew through all of the extra bulk. I’m still looking out for all of my novice sewists :)

If you would like to make your own Claire Fold-over Clutch, you can find the pattern in my Etsy and/or my Craftsy shops.

Don’t forget to share your makes on Instagram with #clairefoldoverclutch and #loveyousewpatterns. (Hashtags are the only way I can see your makes if you have a private account!)  I love seeing all of the different versions!

 

Happy Sewing!

Cristy

 

Moss Skirt {Review #2}

I had my fabric selected for my Moss Skirt by Grainline Studios months ago…hoping to be able to wear it all summer long.  But as you know, life just happens and selfish sewing gets put on the back burner.  This is the second one I’ve made and love it even more than before.  For the first one I made over a year ago, you can read about it here.

For this version, I used Euclid fabric in Cadet which is a printed linen/cotton blend.  This is slightly heavier than quilting cotton, and makes for the perfect summer weight skirt. With the blend, you get the texture of the linen, but not all the wrinkles. I’m all about less ironing!  By making View A this time, I was able to make this skirt out of one yard of fabric (minus the pockets.)


After learning from my first Moss, I knew I had to adjust the back yoke to get rid of the gap. You can see (on the dotted line above) how I cut into the yoke pattern piece on an angle to leave the room for my rear but move the waistline closer to my back.

The other other learning was to keep my vertical seams unfinished until I was ready to add the waistband and hem. This allowed me to make just slight tweaks to curve my seams, if needed. Once I was satisfied with fit, I serged my seams.


For some fun and to keep the silhouette smooth, I used Architextures Gridlines for my pockets. This allowed me to use some scrap fabric and reduce the bulk if I would’ve kept to the same cotton/linen blend.

As I moved through the pattern pieces, I mimicked the same top-stitching as seen on a pair of ready-to-wear jeans. I love how it turned out! Be sure to increase the stitch length and go slowly to ensure nice straight line.

The great thing about making your clothes, not only for the custom fit, is being able to add so many special touches.  Like the pockets, I added a contrasting zipper and button for fun.  The button came from my MIL’s long hoarded collection and it reminds me of her as I wear this new garment.

For the waistband, I decided to machine stitch the inside down verses slip-stitching it as the pattern calls.  I’m a busy mom and I try to machine wash and dry as much as I can.  For me,  a machine stitch would just hold up better with my lifestyle.  This lady does not have time for all that hand-washing!  I pressed the interior band down just wide enough to just cover the seam and stitches.  (If you have any branding or sizing tags, this is the perfect time to pin them in.)  I used a Sewline glue pen to keep the interior waistband in place while I stitched-in-the-ditch along the exterior.  This allows me to just catch the interior band.


With View A, I hemmed as directed.  This length was perfect on my 5’3″ frame.  It hits a few inches  above the knee, but is perfect for the summer.  If I was any taller, this might be a tad too short for my “mom” lifestyle which requires a lot of bending up and down…and sometimes a bit of unexpected climbing.  :)

As I’ve been building my handmade wardrobe, I’ve been selective in choosing some slimmer silhouettes for my petite frame.  I am heavier in the arms and legs, thus like to emphasize my waistline.  This is the perfect skirt pattern for just that.  The clean lines and waistband keep everything smooth to draw the eye up and down.  The printing on the fabric is just the right scale to keep everything in place and not over emphasize one part or the other. ;)

I love how I can pair this skirt with just a white tee and the outfit still looks polished.  I’m hoping to extend this skirt’s life with some heavy tights and cute clogs with a slim long-sleeve tee in the fall. Check out my IG feed to see how it pairs with a yellow and white striped tank and the other outfit pairings!

 

Project Details:

  • Pattern: Moss Skirt by Grainline Patterns
  • Exterior Fabric: Euclid in Cadet by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics from Fabric.com
  • Pocket Fabric: Architextures Gridlines in  by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
  • Piecing and Top-Stitching Thread: Gutermann 236 polyester
  • Zipper: YKK from ZipIt Zippers
  • Button: Vintage (manufacturer unknown)

 

Happy Sewing!

Cristy



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Sewing Room {Pattern Organization}

Pattern Organization Title

It’s funny when I’m asked what kind of sewist I am.  Quilter? Bag-Maker? Garments?  Well….I tell everyone, “I am all of the above.”  I like to dabble in everything — to challenge myself and I just love being able to make as much as I can with my own hands.  With this variety in my sewing repertoire, comes a TON of patterns!

I have a mix of both digital and paper patterns.  If given the option, I almost always take the full printed pattern.  As much as I love the instant gratification of downloading a digital pattern, the extra taping is a bit annoying and I have more difficulty tracing with printer paper.  I know…it’s nice to always have a back-up of a pattern on my computer, but be rest assured, I always make copies.  I trace garment patterns onto muslins and I create cardstock templates of bag pieces.  Which type of pattern do you prefer?

With all of the patterns and their print-outs…and the traced muslins…and the instructions…how do I organize them all?  As much as I would love a one-size fits all solution, it just doesn’t work for me. I have three different methods of organizing my sewing patterns and maybe one, two, or all three of them may work for you.

Classic Filing Method

Pattern Organization File Folders

This has place from my former corporate office days.  It also was my first method when started sewing.  Having all the supplies on-hand didn’t hurt either.  I had a stack of file folders, a desktop tiered rack, plastic file boxes and even a metal cabinet.

I use this method to hold my digital patterns and printout of free tutorials on-line.  (Thank you fellow bloggers!)  These are all categorized by my most frequent sews as shown.

 

Shelf Method

Pattern DVD Storage

Most physically purchased paper patterns are about 6″ x 10″.  They can easily get lost in regular shelving and other paper storage containers.  For awhile I had mine in cute little wire bins…but the patterns were quickly outgrowing my bins and I couldn’t see them well.

Fortunately, I had a friend who wanted to get rid of a DVD shelf…and it was nice solid piece.  (I bartered a toddler dress for this…score!)  This DVD shelf not only is the perfect size for paper patterns, but it holds fat quarters perfectly.  I love how I can see everything and my patterns are in easy access.

 

Art Portfolio

 

Pattern Organization Portfolio Open

So we tackled, letter-sized patterns and instructions with the file folders and the smaller printed patterns, but what about the big stuff?  For awhile, I folded all the taped pdfs up in those file folders and even used a large binder with those clear plastic sheet protectors, but they didn’t last long.  The patterns were all poking out and the folders got too full too quickly.  I needed something bigger…

When my kids started to bring home arts and crafts from school, I wanted to save all their cute projects.  So I picked up a smaller size art portfolio from my local big box retailer.  I use them to organize each year of school for my guys.  Then….it dawned on me one day that I should use one  for my big paper patterns.

This 11″ x 17″ portfolio size is perfect for my needs.  All of my patterns fit with only one or two folds without needing advanced origami skills to get them back into original form.  I love how it also holds my muslins and the clear pockets allow me to quickly identify what patterns are which.

How do you store all of your patterns?

 

Have a great week!

Cristy

 

What to Do When You Forget to Pre-Wash High Contrast Colored Fabrics (in a Quilt)

What to Do When You Forget to Pre-Wash High Contrast Colored Fabrics

After picking the high contrast fabrics for one of my latest quilts AND after cutting into it AND after piecing it…I realized I should have pre-washed it!  How was I going to prevent bleeding on my project???

When I thought to pair magenta, black and white fabrics together in my recent Jacks Quilt, the thought of pre-washing never crossed my mind.  For quilts, I am not a pre-washer and so I went about my normal way cutting and piecing until it hit me…that all the saturated colors could bleed onto all of that white! I wanted to cry in that moment because there was NO way I was going to buy new fabric and start over. My pockets and my sanity wouldn’t allow it since I had cut hundreds of pieces already.  I couldn’t wash all the  small pieces I had because the threads would fray and there would be considerable size distortion…

I know there is a divided camp among those who always pre-wash fabrics no matter what and those who don’t.  Personally, I don’t wash because I DO love that crinkly texture after a quilt is finished and then laundered.  Also, many times I make quilts that will be photographed and need that crisp color that is fresh off the bolt. Which side of camp do you belong to?

WashingQuiltTools

So off I went to find out how I could prevent any bleeding from occurring.  I consulted with a few quilty friends and good ol’ Google to see what was out there.  Synthrapol kept coming up as the go-to detergent to help dyes from re-depositing back onto the quilt. I also received many recommendations to Shout Color Catchers for this dilemma and to use in pre-washing going forward.  I decided why not try both products since I didn’t want to chance ruining my new quilt?

ColorCatchers

I followed the instructions on the bottle of Synthrapol to use only 1 tablespoon for my quilt without any additional detergents.  I did add two Color Catchers into the load as well.  Why two? I figured the magenta and black fabrics held such strong pigments that two catchers might be needed. As you can see, both Color Catchers did their jobs and caught a good bit of dye (Sigh of relief!)

IMG_0983

The quilt came out without any bleeding…which I was still astonished to see despite my efforts.  The image about is after washing.  You can see there were no runs with the magenta or the black dyes onto the white.  Hallelujah!!!

IMG_0984

I flipped over to the back of the quilt to see if there might be any bleeding there as well.  It was completely clear!  The Synthrapol and Shout Color Catchers worked!

Although I’m glad this all worked out, my lesson has been learned to pre-wash high-contrast fabrics next time.  I plan to still use these products for washing all quilts afterwards…just in case ;)  What do you use to wash your quilts???

 

Hugs and Stitches,

Cristy

 

***I was not sponsored for the content of this post. All opinions and experiences are my own and have not been influenced by third parties.

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Honest Sewing Room Tour – Supply Pegboard

Pegboard Title

I’m going to give you a sneak peek into my new sewing & crafting room.  It is still a work in progress…I’ll show you sections of it as I go and this post will be all about the Pegboard!  If you have been following me on Instagram @loveyousew_, you’ve already gotten a look but I’ll explain the method behind the madness here :)

For the past 5 years, I’ve been sewing down in the basement and I called my space the “Dungeon.”  It’s dark, has poor lighting, and I was sewing with the creepy crawlspace in front of me.  Combine that, with having the water heater to my left, and the rumbling furnace behind me and you can understand why the “Dungeon” tag name was appropriate!

Earlier this year, I moved my boys into the same bedroom.  They were so excited to share the space and I was even more excited to move above ground…with natural light!  After I painted the room and moved some furniture around, the first part of the sewing room to be tackled was the Pegboard.

I bought two of these 24″ x 48″ boards from a big box hardware store but you can also find them here.  These were initially painted with acrylic in coral to add a little life down in the dungeon but when I moved them, I freshened up the finish with Valspar household paint in Passion Pink.  I wanted to keep the same color and vibrancy for my special space :)

Here are a few reasons why I love the Pegboard:

  • Supplies are accessible – If I’m in the sewing “zone,” I hate to get up and ruffle through a bunch of boxes to find something.  I like to keep my most used supplies right in front of me.
  • Inventory Management –  I can easily keep tabs of what needs to be replenished.  The pegboard keeps me from wasting money by buying items I already have because they were lost in a box!
  • Space-saver – I don’t have a big closet or a lot of floor space, so this also allows me to better utilize the walls for supplies.

Thread Rack

So what do I keep on the board?  Of course, my most used thread!  With the Etsy shop and a lot of side projects, I tend to go through many colors and types of thread in a single session at the machine.  It’s nice to be able to just reach over and grab my next color without missing any momentum.  I keep back-ups of these threads in my supply closet as well.

Baskets and Zippers

Remember my first Organizational Tips post?  Here are the Mason Jars sitting in a basket ready for use at any time with my Wonder Clips and Quilting Pins.  The Binder Clips are keeping my zippers organized and I can readily pick out the color and size I need for projects.  I have a box of these great handmade cards my brother made me up in the corner.  It’s always nice to have pretty inspiration on the board too!  And last, but not least, I need some Band-Aids around for when I poke myself with needles….we do not need blood on fabric, right?!?

Rulers and Washi Tape

I like to keep these rulers and washi tape up at the top of the Pegboard.  They are quilt specific so I keep them organized but up higher since I don’t use them as often.  The dowel for the tape and twine has been a great help.  I can see all the different rolls I have and grab as much as I need without have to move them off the board! Bonus – I use the dowel at craft shows with some display hooks!

Scissors

The scissors….I love my scissors and rotary cutters.  I keep a lot around for different purposes.  When I’m deep in projects, they end up all over my sewing room, so I (obviously) need extras ;)  These are all held in a standard Multiple Tool Holder for pegboard.  I used larger tool holders for my Pinking Shears.  As you can see, I have plenty of fabric ones, but I also keep Dollar Store cheapies just for paper crafts or cutting patterns.  My 4-year old even has a safety pair on my board.  Whenever he wants to hang out with me, we work on his scissor skills with scraps of paper.  He gets a kick out of having something in the room that is all his own.  Speaking of safety…with my sewing room being right next to my boys’ room, I need to keep all of these sharp object up and out of their reach.  The pegboard and some education helps give me some peace of mind…

Pegboard Image

I hope you enjoyed the mini-tour.  I’m quite eager to share the rest of my new sewing space with you…but I have a little more work to do before then ;)  If you would like to follow the progress or see more, check out #LYSstudiomigration on IG.

 

Stitches and Hugs,

Cristy

 

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