Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Tale of Two Ram-a-Lambs Part 3

This IS supposed to be about two RALs, so let's get moving! The other Ram-a-Lamb Shelli ordered is for DFT... or is that DTF? I get confused on monograms, which is why it's good that Shelli embroidered them, not me! :) So... if your initials are DFT or DTF, stop reading or you'll ruin your Christmas surprise! :) Anyway, this one is more casual than the other - and Shelli said a red and blue color scheme would work great for this special lady! One of my favorite color-combos - let's GO!

Here's a look at the front:

We opted to do the fabric straps, as on Kathie's; I think they're a great fit for this bag! Turn that bag around and let's see the back!

It was breezy; please don't mind my fingers!

Here's a closer look at the monogram; Shelli used a natural colored embroidery thread.

I had a quilting thread that comes mighty close to matching, and did sort of a boxy rope/twisted design around the monogram. It's similar to what I did on the other RAL, but "squared".

Here is a close-up of one pocket:

I love that stitch and have used it a few times now. It has a good "impact" to it.

Here is a grommet shot:

You can also get a good look at the quilting I did on each block. I do this free-form, so no two blocks are the same.

As for RBB's RAL, I reversed the side panels from how I usually orient them, and have the featured fab on the outside. Here's a look:

I did sort of a wide twisted rope thingie on the sides and bottom. (The bottom is denim.) Here's a peek inside!

And last, but not least, here's the Hold the Phone! Bag:

Can you see the glass beads hanging on the left-hand side of the bag? I used red, blue and gold. They're more noticeable live and in person. Here is the reverse side of the HTP! Bag:

I had such a blast making these bags! Thank you for the orders, Shelli, and for collaborating on these two special Ram-a-Lambs!

Thank you for reading!

A Tale of Two RALs Part 2

Moving right along from my previous post, here's the finished Ram-a-Lamb for RBB:

The frayed edges make such a difference, don't they? And I LOVE the pink polypro straps!

Here's the back of the bag:

And here is the side:
I'm so glad we chose to showcase the fab on the outside a bit more! Isn't it yummy? I seriously think everyone can find his or her favorite color in there!

And now for some close-ups! Here is the lovely monogram Shelli embroidered:

Here's the HTP! Bag:

I "had" to attach some beads on the HTP! Bag. This one just called for some. :)

The rosettes are an antiqued pewter. And here's a shot of the top of a pocket and the frayed seam above it.

If you want to see how big of a difference the fraying makes, compare it to the photo at this link; it's the fourth one down in my last post. Cool, isn't it? Depth, movement, texture... OK, I admit it - I'm a tad biased. :)

Tune in next time for Part 3! Until then...

Thanks for reading,

A Tale of Two Ram-a-Lambs Part 1

In addition to the coffee-themed Super Shopper, a friend also placed a special order for two Ram-a-Lambs she wants to give as Christmas gifts. OK... who am I fooling? It's Shelli, my bestest bagaholic. :) Anyway, she ordered two RALs for two special women in her life!

In this post, I'm going to cover the start of RAL1, for RBB. (If those are your initials, and it's before Christmas, please stop reading!!!) So basically, "bag guts", since you all seem to like seeing the process!

Assorted pieces

The biggest and coolest special touch is that I sent her a piece of denim for each bag, so she could monogram them! (I don't usually collaborate on bags, but I'm very familiar with her work and LOVE it!) Here's RBB's monogram:

Shelli used a lovely pink to coordinate with the purple/multi-colored fabric (I also sent her a swatch of that), so I chose to quilt in a variegated pink to tie everything together. Can you see the sort of frame I built around the monogram?

On the plain blocks, I did a triple wavy criss-cross - it looks like ribbons, twisted yarn, or rope.

I did a pocket for each side, out of the purple/multi, and did a cute decorative stitch along the top:

Here's the front panel:

I was so in love with this fabric (it's one I bought in Korea and have used it for some very special things - it's just SO rich and yummy!) that I didn't want to have it for just the pockets and inside. I decided to turn the side panels so the focus fab would be on the outside, like so:

I did a triple wave down the side - and along the bottom, too. I have the denim on the bottom, which you'll see later. I figured it will wear better that way.

Originally, I was going to use fabric for the handles/straps, like on Kathie's, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to try something else. That's when I realized I was (figuratively) sitting on some pink and some purple polypro. Why not?!!? I called Shelli.

We decided to go with the pink, and in my opinion, it was a great choice. It really brings out the embroidered monogram and the quilting!

Before I started the grommet process, I shot a quick video of the bag to show Shelli. And you know, not all of you realize how hard my Guide Dog for the Color Blind works. He's in the video, so you can see him in action. Trust me, if (1) I hadn't had Sergio Mendes playing for us to enjoy and (2) my colors hadn't been so RIGHT, he would have been wooing up a storm. But in the vid, you'll see just how contented he is with my choices. Without further ado (please turn up your speakers):


Let's not forget about the Hold the Phone! Bag! Here are the "guts" for that; you saw them laying on my table in the video:

No explanation needed there, I don't think. I did put more detail on the denim straps than I usually do just because the pink totally rocked the denim! And since I was on a roll (ha, rock and roll...), I finished the HTP! Bag early. That's usually my last step.

How can you not love that fab?

Here's the scary part of the grommet installation.

That's right... now that you've sewn a nice bag, cut some holes in it! Yikes, I do NOT care for that part!

After I hammered in the grommets and clipped along every seam (you can see the process here, if you're interested - yes, I used to write that blog; the Bernina Shoppe is now closed) I threw the bag in the washing machine and dryer, then put the straps on.

Next post - the finished RAL! Please stay tuned!

Thanks for reading!

Black Tie and Tails

Behind again. But only because I've been doing a lot of sewing and pup-walking, so I think I'll be forgiven. Today's post features the items I made for Heather, for the Animal Friends' Black Tie and Tails event.

Remember a few posts back, I showed you the start of my newest design, Bart's Good Eeevening Bag? (Keep scrolling until almost the end of that post.) As a reminder, Bart's Good Eeevening Bag comes out at night, is a little bit on the exotic side, and is small enough to tuck in just about anywhere. It's named after the bat who hangs out at our house.

Bart's Good Eeevening Bag is formal on the outside....

... and kicky on the inside!

No one needs to know what's on the inside, making you smile. :)

Here's a detail shot of the interior pocket:

It's a tad out of focus; I have no idea why. I'd re-shoot, but the bag is in Pittsburgh.

The strap fits easily over your hand and hangs on your wrist. I also included a little pewter charm:

A darling paw print charm. You can really see the "black on black" of the outside of the bag. Isn't it gorgeous? I hope the bag makes its future owner smile; just making it put one on my face!

Heather also ordered a Storm Bag and asked for an animal theme. Since the fund-raiser is for a shelter that supports both dogs AND cats, and the Storm is reversible, I did dogs on one side and kitties on the other. Here's side one:

Neon dogs on black, neon paw prints, "woof"s and bones on black, and a brilliant green kicked in with a bright blue arctic camo twill! Many thanks to Steve, Kat and Wilbur's mom Valerie for the paw print/woof/bones fabric! It was the perfect fit with this project!

Here's a look at the Hold the Phone! Bag:

I used part of a tiny leash and it's hardware for the HTP! Bag strap - it seemed apropos! And check out the pewter charm and beads:

Many thanks to Eva and Brice's mom Vickie for the gorgeous crystal beads!!!

I did some fun stitching on the pocket top:

Here's the reverse/kitty side!

Oh, before I forget - yes, those are repurposed, new leashes for the straps. It's the first time I've used them on a Storm Bag and I LOVE the look! I used recycled denim for the bottom of the bag, and a pocket for the ... umm... pocket. :) I lined the pocket with a paw print fab, just to finish it off nicely. You can see about an eighth of an inch of it sticking up past the denim:

Here's another look at the fabs on the kitty side of the bag:

Hmm... I really could have rotated that. Sorry. Please cock your head to the left a bit.

Heather, I hope your fund-raiser goes swimmingly well for you! Thank you for letting me help out a little!

And thank you for reading!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Third Post For The Day

I told you I was behind with the blog! :)

I finished up some bags for Patty and got everything mailed off to her. In my Odds and Ends post, I showed you parts of parts of her order. Let's go through it all!

Here's her Hold the Phone! Bag. She wanted a longer strap, with the leash hardware, to wear over her shoulder at work.

Here's a detail shot:

And the back:

She also ordered a Boo Tote, out of the same fabs I used for Kathie's and Michelle's. She also liked Kathie's blue handles - here's Patty's Boo!

My FAVORITE part of the order was her Deeve Bag! (The bag is really more symmetrical than it appears in this photo...):

I originally looped the side D-rings through a "single flat pleat" like the ones on Shelli's BDU Deeve Bag -- like in the photo above. The D-rings are the things the strap/handle goes through. That's what I'm calling them, anyway. Then it hit me - what if I folded the pleats inward, and made it a double, tuck-in pleat? I gave it a go, and got this:

I LOVE it! I really think it's a great "shape". The really cool part is, with the aid of a tiny screwdriver, you can change it around however you like it! Ha! Umm... I meant to do that all along ... ! If that doesn't make sense, check out the last photo in this post; it shows a close-up of the D-rings.

The main fab is a Laurel Burch - with dog faces. I'm not good at picking favorites, but let me say that as fabric goes, this one is right up there. It was also the first time I used polypro for the strap/handle on a Deeve - Patty has had favorable feedback on it for me! I love the look and will do that again VERY soon!

Here's a detail shot of the front:

I have this thing for big, bold buttons lately. They look so cool, and they're easy to handle. :)

Here's the coordinating HTP! Bag:

I had fun with some glass beads and a silver paw print charm:

Here's the flip-side of the HTP! Bag:

The Deeve has two large inside pockets; here's a detail shot of one:

I used a YLI Jewel-toned variegated thread on the inside and outside. It goes with SO much!

Lastly, here's the inside of the Deeve Bag:

See what I mean about the inward pleats? Very cool - and I love that you have your choice of however you'd like the bag shaped!

I also got Heather's order out to her this past week; I'll post that up within the next couple of days!

Thanks for reading!

Surprise Boo Tote

Can you tell I'm way behind? With the blog, anyway! I've been hard at work, completing orders and working up new ideas! And then I do stuff just because I want to... like this:

Valerie has been so sweet, sending me denim and some left-over fabric she had. Remember the sneak peek I gave you of a Boo Tote? Here it is:

Valerie sent me the Mickey fab; I couldn't resist making her a Boo Tote from some of it! Surprise! :)

I love doing things like that!

Thanks for reading,