Saturday, June 21, 2014

Amelie Purse

I really like the purse and tote bag patterns by Geta Grama here.  I have all of them but have only made the Amelie purse, which is my favorite so far.  I emailed her to see if she would ever come out with a bag that zipped on top.  She said she was thinking about it, but that the magnetic snaps are easier for people to make.  I really like her PDF patterns for a beginner bag maker like myself.   I made three mistakes in making the Amelie purse, which is big like a tote, and I appreciate the lessons learned in making these mistakes.

The first lesson was not buying enough fabric.  I originally intended to use the orange fabric I used in the lining to make the pockets and handle but changed my mind and used a blue batik, which I didn't have enough to make the two handles.  I went to buy more fabric but they had ran out of it.  I used a purple fabric for the handles hoping to match the violet on the mermaid's tail. It doesn't really match, but oh well. 

The second lesson learned was to be careful what ruler you are using to measure zipper openings.  I grabbed a June Tailor ruler that had a blue strip around the edges that added an additional 1/4 inch to any measurement.  It made the zipper opening 1/4 inch too big all around the zipper opening.  I fudged with it and made it work but it would have been easier if I noticed I was using the wrong ruler and used the correct ruler instead.

The third lesson I learned was to measure items intended for pockets.  The long orange pocket had three divided sections in the pattern, and like a wise guy I thought I would keep it all open to fit my iPad.  Not measuring how big my iPad was in relation to the measurement of the pocket, the pocket was too big and my iPad flopped right out of it.  The pocket might work for diapers or clothes, but I keep thinking how lovely it would be if it was dived by three.  I really regret this decision to not divide the pocket.

What I really like about this bag are the big pockets in the front.  A standard bottle of water on the left almost gets swallowed.  I will definitely make this bag again.  Thinking off all beautiful coordinated fabrics to make it with is dizzying.

Thanks Geta for a wonderful bag pattern.  I know I will do a better job next time with my lessons learned.  Your instructions were fantastic!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Backlighting and a Scruffy Little Bird

June in Minnesota this year is being noted for double the normal in rainfall.  I am one those people who can literally feel the differences in energy boost when the sun comes out.  One evening Audrey saw a little bunny dart across our yard.  Faster than a speeding bullet she was off trying to catch the bunny, but was too slow.  We both saw it go into the bed of irises, but for the life of us could not rustle it out.  It was then I noticed the beautiful backlighting that fell on the irises and went and grabbed my camera.

Towards the end of the school year the parents were encouraged to come to school and witness a presentation that the kids were showing that day.  Both my husband and I went and were charmed by our girls who did so well in kindergarten.  Audrey seemed antsy that day, she was in a big hurry to get home.  She kept saying she saw a little bird that must have fallen out of its nest.  Just coming from work I had no idea where this story came from or what happened to the bird.  When we got home she immediately found the bird, who had not ventured far and my heart went out to it.  After calling several environmental places and being told to leave it on the ground and that the mother would feed it, I told Audrey we had do that and because we didn't know how to feed it and leaving it for it's mother would be the best chance the little thing had of survival.  We never knew what happened to the bird, but on cold, rainy nights I pray it is safe and dry.

Dance Recital

The girls experienced their first dance recital on June 19th.  I was so proud of them.  Audrey has really gotten into Darth Vader and Star Wars.  She likes Darth's impressive outfit, not his dark side, I hope.  I noticed a boys t-shirt with Star Wars characters on it at Target on the clearance rack and gave it to her.  She fell in love with it. I think her kindergarten teacher who has boys also commented on how much she liked it.  I really had to encourage her to not wear it to school every day.  The girls were with me at Target another day to get some tennis shoes for Audrey, who is developing so rapidly and outgrowing everything.  Audrey saw a Bat Man shirt and wanted it along with matching baseball hat and sunglasses.  Some girls do ask her why she likes to wear boys clothes and some boys tell her they like what she is wearing.  Her hair is past the middle of her back so I don't think one can mistake her for a boy.  She loves to wear comfortable boys t-shirts most of the time.  So for me to see her in her ballet costume looking so girly was such rare treat!   In the last picture they are with a friend they met in class.