Cat’s meow reversible tote bag

Cat's meow tote bag 07

Cute and functional!  I whipped up this sweet reversible tote bag over the weekend and have been swooning over the cute kitties all week.  It makes me smile every time I look at it!  This is the third Gather Here tote bag I’ve made using the pattern from their “sewing basics” class that I took last winter.  I use the first one everyday as my lunch bag for work, so I can attest to its great functionality and durability.  Yay for more bags!  A woman can never have enough, in my opinion.  : )

Project details:

Pattern: Gather Here reversible tote bag.  (I don’t think the pattern is available online.)

Fabric: Cuzco by Kate Spain for Moda (pink/orange print); Pet Park by Robert Kaufman (cat print)

Modifications: None

Level of crafty satisfaction: Too cute, love it!

I went a little overboard with the photoshoot, but really, can one ever get enough cute cat fabric?  I didn’t think so.  : )  Enjoy the photos!

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Dress cutting complete, tote bags in the works

Bright happy dress - pile of pieces

Behold: a pile of very bright dress pieces (and not-so-bright lining pieces) for the Bright Happy Dress.  Step 1 complete!  Many, many more steps to go!  Gotta celebrate each little step along the way, right?  : )  It *is* pretty satisfying to look at this neat pile of garment pieces on my sewing table… so I guess that’s a good reason as any to celebrate.

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A delightful collection of fabric napkins

Fabric napkins - cover photo

Fabric napkins, how delightful *and* environmentally friendly!  I made these very sweet additions to my kitchen a few months ago using a pattern from the first issue of By Hand Magazine.  The pattern happened to be written by Virginia, the owner of Gather Here, so of course I was already biased toward making some.  : )  I intentionally chose random prints because I didn’t want to have a matchy-matchy set, and I like the resulting “surprise” each time I reach for a new one.  The napkins get machine washed and dried with my towels, and after a quick press with the iron, they’re good as new.  I haven’t used any paper napkins since!

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Sewing update and birthday presents!

Readers Digest New Complete Guide to Sewing

Lots of sewing updates to report!  It was my birthday this past week, so I indulged a bit and bought myself some crafty birthday presents.  : )  First up, the New Complete Guide to Sewing from Reader’s Digest.  I’ve had my eye of this massive hardcover beast since last June (!!!) when I spotted it in my local bookstore, and I finally decided that my birthday was a good excuse to cough up the dough and buy it already.  From my initial perusal, it seems to contain lots of good tips and illustrations for making professional-looking garments, and I’m excited to really give it a thorough read-through.  Yay! (BTW, I am all about supporting local bookstores and totally paid full price for this baby, as opposed to buying it on the cheap from Amazon.  Support your local small businesses!)

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Introducing Batty!

Batty cover photo - Soto Softies patternHello friends!  Allow me to introduce the newest member of the Allspice Abounds household: Batty!  I took a class at Gather Here back in October from the fabulous Martiza Soto herself (creator of the incredible Soto Softies, of which I’ve been a huge fan for many years), and I finally had some time to finish this little guy over the long Thanksgiving weekend.  I love love LOVE how he came out!  : )

This is my second softie and first time trying one of Maritza’s patterns, and all things considered, I think it came out pretty well.  The ears are going off in different directions, but this just adds to the charm of the finished piece, right?  Click below for lots more photos!

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Etsy Global Craft Party!

01 Gather Here tea towelOn Friday night I went to the Etsy Global Craft Party at Gather Here, and it was AWESOME.  Loved it!  I guess the idea is to have parties all across the globe where people come together to make something and share their creative spirit, and that is exactly what we did.  This year’s project at Gather Here was to embroider silk screened tea towels, custom made by the fabulous Gather Here staff to represent all the different flavors of “making something.”  Above you can see a close up of the tea towel design, along with my one row of red stitching that took me the entire 2 hours to complete.   This is an EPIC embroidery project – it’s huge!  The party also included a ton of free food and beer, and it was so cool to meet awesome local crafters and chat about our hobby obsessions.  What a fun night!

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Cranking this embroidery OUT

01 Daisychain ABCs - V outsideMore outdoor embroidery!  : )  The only thing missing from this situation is a cold margarita freshly made by my own personal cabana boy.  Ahem.  : )  One day, ladies!

This weekend I put a decent amount of time into cranking out this Daisychain ABC sampler.  The end is so close… I can taste it!  Just a few more measly letters to go!  I had grand plans to buy a frame for the soon-to-be-finished piece this weekend, but I forgot like 3 different times.  Haha, oh well.  Next weekend perhaps.  For now, I’ve got U and V under my belt, with W well along its way.

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Rediscovering sewing: the Gather Here tote bag

Gather Here tote bag - closedBehold, my very first machine sewing project after about a 15-year break: the Gather Here tote bag.  : )  I signed up for their “sewing basics” class back in March, having been away from the machine since high school.  Little did I know how addicted I would become (yet again)!  The tote bag is very simple in terms of construction and is a great beginner project, especially since you can walk away with a finished and useful product.  This bag will always hold a special place in my heart as my first finished piece, stitched with excitement and awe.  I never blogged about it, so I wanted to finally give it its proper documentation.  : )

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Black and white dress: the end is near

01 Butterick 5602 previewHere’s a little sneak peek of my black and white dress (Butterick B5602), which I’m very happy to report is almost finished!  : )  It has been the perfect storm of dress construction these days, between a few slow days at the lab and the disgustingly humid weather here in Boston.  I’ve been happily sitting in the air conditioning and sewing away, with good results to boot.  There have been a few ups and downs with this project, especially because I’m still learning so much about garment construction, but I’ve been enjoying the process and think the finished product will be a success.

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Golden wishbones and a windy day

Golden wishbones - beginning

It turns out that sick days are particularly good for crafty couch time.  : )  I was home sick (again) today with a virus that’s been doing a number on my throat and general state of health, but it turned out to be quite a beautiful, sunny, warm, and relaxing day curled up on the couch with Maggie and my embroidery.  Can’t complain, really.  (Well, except for the hacking-up-of-lungs that periodically interrupted my crafty bliss.)  But moving right along…

Above you see the beginnings of my “golden wishbone” embroidery that I mentioned yesterday.  I can’t take any creative credit for this design because it’s a total knock-off of the fabulous Danielle’s embroidered hoop wall art.  BUT, I did pick out the colors myself.  : )  Baby steps.

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