Saturday, November 5, 2011

My new tote, some sewing tips and scrapbooking


I was going to post about the progress of my tote bag and ended up taking pictures of my sewing room and my light box set up and then I checked my email and found a nice reply from Vanessa at Whirling Butterfly. She is into scrapbooking and pointed me to her guest spot at Tamar's blog. She has included lots of links to free scrapbooking related things. I can see myself spending hours looking around those sites.

Back to the tote.
It is from this pattern. I like the separate inner concept.

I put my patterns in A4 envelopes. I also write the year I bought it and an alphabet letter referring to what part of my pattern box it came from.

I made it to the pattern a while back and it was just a bit too wide for comfort so I narrowed the ends by nearly half. I put a zipper in the side pocket and divided the pocket on the other side.

The end pockets would be too narrow if you follow the instructions. I could only fix one end because I had to have it flat to sew the stitching that divides up the pockets. The other end has two skinny pen pockets but they will need to be long pens so I don't lose them into the pocket :)

I want to add a shoulder strap as well as the tote handles so I can have hands free for check in.  I thought it lent itself to folding the top down (if it is not packed too full) and I have a magnetic clasp that I will use to keep it folded. I will attach the shoulder strap just below the fold line. I will also put a zipper across the top opening. It stops things falling out when it goes through customs.

The lining is dark green and I plan to put a big zipper pocket on each side. One side to put the ipad and one side will have slip in pockets inside the zipper pocket to hold my passport and purse and phone while my travel jacket is in the overhead locker. I plan to keep this tote under the seat.

I think I will also make the inner bag with a magazine or ipad slot and pockets on one side only (since the bag is narrower now). I think if I put tape loops on the back I might be able to attach it to the tray table to have my stuff easily accessible during the flight. Elastic might be too thick to fit behind the tray when it is closed.

Magnetic scissor keep
I found this in Ikea and it is perfect for holding my scissors within reach and out of the way while I am at the ironing board. It is also close enough for me to reach them while I am sitting at the sewing table. Now they don't get lost under fabric or pattern pieces.

My blue screen
In order to make my scrapbooking elements from my own tea cups etc I needed a blue screen so I could remove the background. I do this in Fireworks on my Mac.
The screen is just some blue fabric - you know I have just realised where my light blue homespun is. I was looking for it earlier this week :D  
It is long enough to flow onto the table and under the item I am photographing.
It is just tacked to the window sill.

You can see the pillowslip I am working on and the green tote bag lining.

My light box
I have a little glass top coffee table that also came from Ikea a while back. At some point I realised it would be good for tracing patterns because I had the goose neck lamp that fitted underneath.
I sit on a little stool or just bend over from the lounge chair. It would be possible to do it on the glass doors during the day but the big sheets from the quilting books are a bit awkward to hold up. It is easier to do sitting down.

Just a goose neck lamp that I can twist over.
When it is pressed flat it is easy to trace.

Something I traced the patterns for. A 36" diameter table topper.

Crickey! It is lunch time already and I haven't even looked at any of Vanessa's links. When will I get time to sew :)

Happy quilting,

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