Posts Tagged ‘handmade’

Sewing: Leather Handmade Tote

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I had hoped to make more of my Christmas gifts this year, but alas, it was only one (besides teacher’s gifts). I made a leather purse for my brother-in-law’s new girl. We all just adore her, so maybe I got a little excited about making something a little extra special for her.

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My friend Susan gave me this rad embossed suede a couple months ago. It’s just a killer color and texture, it was begging to become a purse.

It’s something like a 3 ounce leather, so I couldn’t get too fancy with it with my sewing machine so I made a simple box-bottom tote out of it. My machine didn’t like the leather a whole lot, but it submitted to my will in the end.

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The inside is partially lined with leather, so I didn’t want to sew the straps on to the actual leather (3 layers of leather would have made my machine go out for a pack of bubble gum and never come back). So I punched a hole and affixed brass rivet thingies instead. The rivets took considerable amount of work  as a two-person job. Thankfully I had Chris at the ready to help me make the rivets happen.

Despite the possible headache of the rivets, they’re nice and snug on the leather, so I’m hopeful that they will stand the test of time.

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The inside snaps together with a brass magnetic button. It was kinda evil genius of me to line the top part of the purse with leather since this provides a considerable amount of stabilization for the closure.

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I made two pockets in the interior. They were hard to photograph, but you get the idea. The first pocket is an open pocket that’s flush with where the suede and lining fabric meet.

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The second pocket is my favorite: a zippered pocket for secret surprises. It zips all the way across the tote with pink leather details (not pictured) on either end.

The interior fabric is Jay McCarroll’s Los Angeles City Center. Gifted to me by the lovely Kristin. It’s even more rad in person.

Having finished this first leather tote, I’m stoked to make another! It was a little intimidating, but not as hard as I originally thought!

Tutorial: Leather Handbound Book

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I’ve been kinda stumped with Christmas ideas. But another one came to me! Penelope and I made a few of these for gifts for her to give away. They make the perfect gift for guys or girls, too! Once I got all the supplies together, each book takes about 10 minutes to make. Perfect for mass production, or that little extra handmade touch to your perfect holiday gift.

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I’ve styled this purple and liquid gold-leafed leather book in a gift “basket”. Perfect for the young lady needing a respectable purse and purse contents. Details:

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They’re ever so simple to make. I’ve made these with the leather scraps I have on hand (I have a giant overflowing bin full!), but these could easily be made with felt, fabric fused to paper with Heat ‘n Bond. Let’s make one together!

EASY Leather-Bound Pocket Notebook Tutorial

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Supplies

Read more to learn how to assembly this easy easy book!

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Elsewhere: Adventures in Dressmaking

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It’s been at least two weeks since I’ve been able to enjoy some un-interrupted sewing time. The only sewing I’ve been able to lately has only involved felt squares to make cases for our gadgets. To say I’m antsy to break out the scissors and fabric would be the understatement of the year. I have an idea for the raddest sweater hoodie, and I want it yesterday. 

The fact that I bought the sweetest emerald velvet and it’s just sitting (prewashed!) on my desk is just killer! I’m mostly okay with it. Chris and I have been working our tails on polishing off the finishing touches to I Still Love Calligraphy before Cyber Monday. It’s been brutal, but I’m so excited about the upcoming changes to the site.

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Meanwhile, I’m over at Adventures in Dressmaking sharing my favorite handmade outfit for the Holiday season. Click here for the full post.

 

Outfit details:

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Also, I’m over at the Curious Calligrapher sharing tips on calligraphy! Click here for the full post

 

Sewing: Sporty Maxi Dress with Leather Details

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I didn’t initially plan on making this dress. It happened as I went along. I was hoping to use a knee-length version of this pattern for my ikat fabric.

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Before cutting up the precious yardage, I wanted to test out my vision. I’m glad I did! I love how this dress turned out with the fabric I used, but I don’t think it would’ve made a good fit for my Mood yardage. I’m still trying to figure out my plans for that fabric.

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I used a basic t-shirt block, and cut just above the bust line for an overlapped v-neck with leather piping at the seam. It turned out to be a really nice subtle detail, but if I were to do it again (and I just might), I think I’d create a slight curve to the line so it hits at a more natural spot at my under-arms.

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The fabric itself is a soft knit with silver bumpy dots on it. The texture is really neat, actually. The thin knit is quite stable and opaque as well. I’ve mentioned my need for long sleeves this winter, but I decided that I’d much rather layer sweaters with this dress than tights. I love how it looks with this chunky knit sweater.

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It’s been a really warm fall this year, so it’s been fun to be able to wear long skirts and dresses while out and about.

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Outfit details:

  • earrings: etsy
  • necklace: H&M, Cambria Cove
  • dress: handmade
  • scarf: hand-me-down
  • sweater: c/o SheInside (here)
  • shoes: Forever 21

Check out above for similar grey maxi dresses.

Sewing: Leather & Ponte Knit Wiggle Skirt

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I’ve had this gorgeous leather since my LA trip in May. I’ve known all along that I’ve wanted to make a leather skirt. After seeing my friend wear a leather and ponte knit blocked skirt, I knew for sure that I wanted to knock it off. Mustering the guts to work out a pattern and actually cut the leather has taken some time, however.

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Not having the most confidence in the world, I opted to draft a dart-less pattern from my wiggle skirt block. I borrowed Franciane’s skirt to make sure that the proportions of leather and knit were just right then went to town.

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And I was too lazy to make a muslin. Scary. I should’ve done a faux leather for the muslin, because I learned quite a few things along the way. And I messed up in a few spots. Do you see the puckering in the back zip? Yikes.

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The knit I had on hand was not quite right. It completely justified a trip to JoAnn to see if they’d have anything remotely close to what I had in mind. Surprise, surprise, they had this lovely (super stretchy with great recovery) ponte-ish knit.

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I didn’t need much give since I was planning on a zipper for the waist, but I wanted it to have enough stretch that it would compensate for any fit issues on my part (as I’m no expert pattern drafter). Turns out it was a really great idea on my part. I should’ve cut the skirt a little bit bigger especially in the thighs, but it’s not the end of the world.

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The tightness creates of a va-va-voom effect. It’s a little more restricting than my other pencil skirts, but that’s not a problem. This is a dry clean only piece, so I won’t want to wear it while chasing my kids anyway. I will, however be applying nikwax to protect the leather from damage.

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I don’t have big hips or thighs, so it really accentuates any hourglass that I may have. I’d say this kind of piece would be great on any body type.

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Outfit Details:

 

I’m trying something new. Above is a list of similar leather skirts to the one I made. All are under $89. There’s even one for $10 – a great way to see if leather skirts are your style.

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