handpainted sidekick tote

a while back, my buddy Anna from Noodlehead asked if i’d help give her newly revamped Sidekick Tote pattern a once-over as she prepared to re-release it, which she did in late November.  i’d sewn the Sidekick Tote before and remembered really enjoying it, so i was game.  i didn’t remember the pattern having any stumbling blocks the first time, but PDF patterns have come a long way in the last couple years, so I get why Anna wanted to spruce it up a bit.  the diagrams are a little clearer, the cutting instructions and sewing directions are a little easier to follow, that sort of thing.  handpainted sidekick tote this time i thought it’d be fun to try a bit of hand painting on the fabric, inspired by another Portland crafty lady, Anna Joyce.  i’ve admired Anna’s work at various craft shows and boutiques around town.  i also follow her on instagram, where i noticed lately she’s been doing a lot of simple but graphic handpainting/stamping onto fabric, and it’s the type where i go “heeeeey i think i could do that!” Continue reading

rainbow loom road trip case

recently i got to pattern test my friend Anna’s newest offering, the Road Trip Case!  I decided to make the “Rainbow Loom” version for Em.

rainbow loom road trip case

rainbow loom road trip case

Em got a Rainbow Loom (affiliate link) from her aunt and uncle for Christmas, and immediately became obsessed.  i helped her look up how-to videos on YouTube, we found this one, and she’d just play it on repeat while fishtail looming to her heart’s content.

rainbow loom road trip case

it was actually kind of amazing how quickly she picked up on it – i wasn’t sure if she’d be too young, but she seemed to have zero trouble.  like i’d leave the room, come back, and she’d have a bracelet “cast on” and well on its way.  crafting must be in her blood.  😉

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course, when a new hobby is started, there’s all sorts of new gear and a storage solution becomes necessary.  that’s where the Road Trip Case comes in.

rainbow loom road trip case

this was such a fun pattern to pick fabrics for!  i went sort of “modern granny floral mashup” with it, mixing a fat quarter from heather ross’ briar rose (i got it at Bolt, you can get it here) with some pink kona solid, a vintage sheet from my stash, and some awesome purple floral bias tape that Jess gave me.  it was a project for Em and only for her, so i just went with what i thought would make her happy.

rainbow loom road trip case

the pattern instructs you to make a see-through vinyl pocket.  i’d never sewn with vinyl before but it was super fun, not painful (just use scotch tape on your presser foot/the strike plate if it’s sticking), and the result is so cool.  the zipper was pretty much the easiest zipper i’ve ever inserted, too.

rainbow loom road trip case

there is an elastic loop for your hook, elasticized pockets for you loom(s), and the pattern includes an alternate option for flap pockets to use for more general art/craft supplies.  i love the one Anna adapted to make into a travel sewing case – if it’s ever in the cards for me to go to one of those awesome sewing retreats that keeps popping up, you know i’ll be making a case for it!

rainbow loom road trip case

i really enjoy small quilting projects like this – not sure if you can see it too well, but the case is quilted together and it gives it such a nice sturdiness and structure (much like my hospital bag, also a Noodlehead pattern).  the pattern itself is great, too – Anna is great at listening to testers and an advanced beginner could  definitely tackle it.  it’s fun to bring all the components together for such a utilitarian (and cute!) case.

rainbow loom road trip case

and of course it folds up all tidy too (i poached a few of Em’s mini elastic hair bands).

rainbow loom road trip case

RAINBOW LOOM POWER.

get your Road Trip Case pattern over at Noodlehead and thanks for letting me test it for ya, Anna!

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P.S.  Em’s star star dress is blogged HERE, and her hair is in braids because these photos happened to be taken the same day as THIS post!  

catnap cargo duffle (with mini tutorial on how to add a lining)

it’s kid’s clothes week right now, and i normally love sewing for KCW.  in fact, i’m pretty sure i’ve sewn in every KCW since 2011!  the community is so inspiring and it usually makes me feel so good to sew a pile of clothes that my kids will wear throughout the next season.  however, i’m skipping this one because this week i have deemed “baby prep week.”  my kids are pretty good on clothes, but i do not yet feel ready for baby.  so this week i am focusing on changing that, because it seems to have snuck up on me that he’ll be here VERY SOON (like probably in just a couple/few weeks).

DAY 1 of baby prep week: organize, wash, donate, lend out old baby clothes and gear.  spent all evening on that, and now i have clothes for him to wear that aren’t tucked away in bins in our basement.

DAY 2 of baby prep week: sew a hospital bag.

catnap cargo duffle bag

this is one of those projects that made me feel simultaneously so happy and also a little silly/crazy.  i absolutely did not need to make this bag (i have a perfectly good weekend bag) but i also NEEDED to make it (in the way that certain gals NEED to sew tiny Beat it Jackets with 20+ zippers).

I JUST HAD TO.

(click to keep reading)

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bicycle basket

i don’t often do “commissioned projects,” but my uncle asked me to make a divided basket for a co-worker’s baby shower and i went for it!  so this is the project that snuck up on me during KCW.

bicycle divided basket

i said yes to his request because first of all, i was flattered, but also because he wanted a Noodlehead divided basket (something i love to sew), and gave me lots of creative freedom (“rich earth tones”)…and originally the timeline was generous too (a game of family telephone suddenly made it urgent, hehe).

bicycle divided basket

from cutting out the pieces to finish, this took me 1.5 hours.  timed myself.  it is my FOURTH divided basket though (one, two three) and i barely have to read the instructions anymore.  such a great pattern by Anna.  🙂

bicycle divided basket

the fabric is Echino bicycles in brown (a gift from Cherie from the LA fabric district) with my go-to Denyse Schmidt for JoAnn gold “solid-not-solid” as trim.  the inside is a celery-colored kona or moda bella solid, not sure which.  figured bikes were a safe bet here in Portland, often named the most bike-friendly city in the U.S.

bicycle divided basket

i emailed my uncle a list of my favorite “essential” baby items and a couple favorite board books, which he stuffed in there and gave to his co-worker.

fun, quick little commissioned project, though i STILL haven’t made one for myself yet!  maybe once we start pulling my new little guy’s nursery together (i started an idea board on pinterest, wanna see?).